The Dow managed a 5-point gain yesterday. But that’s about the only good news. Equities overall were weak, and they remain mixed this morning.
Longer-term Treasuries are slipping, while the dollar is rising along with oil. Gold and silver are lower.
Meanwhile, with apologies to Paul Revere, the financial press is in full panic mode about interest rates this morning. Headlines are practically screaming: “The 4% Treasury Yields are coming! The 4% Treasury Yields are coming!”
The 10-year U.S. Treasury Note yield just breached that level for the first time since November. That, in turn, is putting pressure on stocks. Higher yields lower stock valuations, while also enticing some investors to move money out of stocks and into bonds for income.
Tesla (TSLA) investors were hoping for big things from CEO Elon Musk at yesterday’s investor day. But he and other executives largely underwhelmed listeners during their four-hour event.
Details about next-generation EVs were lacking, with most of the content focused on manufacturing and operational details as well as the transition to other energy sources overall. Shares fell in response.
On the flip side, Salesforce (CRM) shares jumped in the early going. The business software giant expanded at a willy-nilly pace during the most recent technology boom/bubble, but CEO Marc Benioff said those days are over. Instead, the company will focus more on cutting costs and boosting profitability – exactly what tech investors want to hear in 2023.
Finally, there was an interesting development out of the Group of 20 meeting in India. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The two haven’t met since Russia invaded Ukraine just over a year ago.
It will be interesting to see if this generates any momentum for peace talks or impacts conflict-sensitive sectors in the market. Defense stocks have generally been outperforming, with the Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF (PPA) up 6% in the last year compared with a 6% decline for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY).