Wall Street Stumbles at Open as Bond Yields Keep Rising

Stocks opened in the red Thursday as bond yields continued to climb, denting dividend-paying equities, and tech saw some weakness.

The Dow fell 65.68, or 0.24%, to 26,762.71, while the broader S&P 500 index lost 9.09, or 0.31%, to 2,916.42. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was down 65.61, or 0.82%, to 7,959.47.

The selloff in Treasuries persisted, pushing the yield on the 10-year closer to 3.2% as economic data continued to show a strong economy.

Initial jobless claims fell last week, near a 49-year low, in harmony with other recent numbers that showed a tight labor market ahead of the nonfarm payrolls report Friday.

Higher yields will put pressure on utility and telecom stocks, as their dividends become less attractive.

Meanwhile, tech struggled as heavyweights Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) dipped on a Bloomberg report China had planted malicious chips in their systems. Both companies denied the report.

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) fell nearly 4% after Citi lowered its price target on the stock to $7, while maintaining a sell rating, noting increasing competition, StreetInsider reported.

Elsewhere, Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) stock jumped 26% after the struggling bookstore chain announced it was open to a takeover.

And Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) gained 5% after its earnings came in higher than expected.

In Europe, stocks were mixed. Germany’s DAX rose 0.5%, while in France the CAC 40 fell 1% and in London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.8%. Meanwhile the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 ganed 0.3%.

In commodities, gold futures rose 0.32% to $1,206.80 a troy ounce, while crude oil futures fell 0.68% to $75.89 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 95.77./reuters.com

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