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Market Volatility Persists: Dow and S&P Post Third Consecutive Drops

Market Volatility Persists: Dow and S&P Post Third Consecutive
BBC BBC
Market Volatility Persists: Dow and S&P Post Third Consecutive
BBC BBC

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Market Volatility Persists: Dow and S&P Post Third Consecutive Drops

U.S. stocks experienced a slight decline on Tuesday, marking the third consecutive session of losses for the Dow and S&P 500 indices. Investors were cautious as they awaited economic data during a shortened trading week to assess the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy direction.

Despite efforts, stocks struggled to gain momentum, with Tesla shares rising by 2.92% following CEO Elon Musk’s announcement of a one-month trial for the company’s Full Self-Driving technology. However, Tesla’s overall performance for the year still showed a decline of over 28%.

The focus remained on the upcoming release of the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE), which serves as the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. Analysts anticipated a 0.4% increase in February and a 2.5% rise annually. Core inflation, excluding volatile food and energy prices, was expected to have risen by 0.3% last month, maintaining an annual pace of 2.8%.

Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities, highlighted the significance of Friday’s data release, stating that market movements until then would likely be considered noise. Any indication from the Fed suggesting a potential increase in interest rates could negatively impact the market sentiment.

On the economic front, there were positive signs as orders for durable goods exceeded expectations in February, and business spending on equipment showed signs of recovery. Consumer confidence, as reported by the Conference Board, remained relatively stable in March.

The major indices closed with minor losses, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by 0.08%, the S&P 500 by 0.28%, and the Nasdaq Composite by 0.42%. Last week, all three indices had reached record highs following the Fed’s announcement of maintaining its projection for three interest-rate cuts this year.

Market expectations for a rate cut in June increased, with a 70.4% probability according to the CME’s FedWatch Tool. Trump Media & Technology group saw a significant increase in its stock price on its first day of trading after completing a reverse merger.

Among individual stocks, McCormick and Seagate Technology experienced notable gains after surpassing market expectations. However, United Parcel Service shares declined after announcing its 2026 forecast.

Overall, declining stocks slightly outnumbered advancers on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. Trading volumes were lower than the average for the past 20 trading days, with expectations of further thinning out as the holiday approached.


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