The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped on Monday as interest rates surged and turmoil rocked global currencies.
The Dow dropped 256 points, or 0.9%. The S&P 500 declined 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite was flat.
The British pound dropped to a record low on Monday against the U.S. dollar, falling 4% at one point to an all-time low of $1.0382. The pound has since come off its worst levels on speculation that the Bank of England may have to raise rates more aggressively to tamp down inflation.
The Federal Reserve’s aggressive hiking campaign, coupled with U.K.’s tax cuts announced last week has caused the U.S. dollar to surge. The euro hit the lowest versus the dollar since 2002. A surging greenback can hurt the profits of U.S. multinationals and also wreak havoc on global trade, with so much of it transacted in dollars.
“Such U.S. dollar strength has historically led to some kind of financial/economic crisis,” wrote Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson, chief U.S. equity strategist, in a note. “If there was ever a time to be on the lookout for something to break, this would be it.”
The S&P 500 briefly fell below the June closing low of 3,666.77 during Monday afternoon trading. At one point during the day, the index dipped to 3,644.76, less than eight points away from its intraday low of 2022: 3,636.87.
Bond yields leapt on Monday, with the 10-year Treasury yield topping 3.9% at one point during the day. That marks its highest level since 2010.
Yields also jumped on the 2-year Treasury, which is especially sensitive toward Fed policy. The rate on the note surpassed 4.3%, the highest level since 2007.
Stocks are coming off a brutal week with the blue-chip Dow finding a new intraday low for the year and closing lower by 486 points. The broad-market S&P 500 temporarily broke below its June closing low and ended down 1.7%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.8%.