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19/04/24 Briefing

Wall Street retreated on Friday as dimming hopes for a coming interest rate cut and geopolitical uncertainty intensified a sell off in Big Tech.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.9%, notching its sixth consecutive losing day, and suffering its worst losing streak since October 2022. The benchmark index lost more than 3% for the week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slid 2.1%, falling more than 5% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) managed to rise about 0.6%.

Disappointing earnings from Netflix (NFLX) weighed on hopes that quarterly reports would help revive the equity rally. Shares of the streaming giant, the first of the megacap techs to update, slid 9%. Technology stocks as a whole flashed red with all of the biggest names shedding value.

Market darling Nvidia (NVDA) lost 10%, while Amazon (AMZN) saw a drop of more than 2%. Apple (AAPL) decreased 1%.

The market had come back from a deeper sell-off after Israel's retaliatory strike on Iran spooked traders overnight and spurred a rush to safe havens such as gold. But investors are still on high alert, though Iran has confirmed the drone attack and said it failed.

Stocks were already under pressure before the shock amid persistent uncertainty about Federal Reserve interest rate cuts. A growing number of Fed officials this week expressed a more hawkish stance because of hotter-than-anticipated inflation data in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, US government bonds pulled back almost fully from their biggest rally of the year. The yield on the safe-haven 10-year Treasury (^TNX) fell to trade around 4.6%.

In commodities, Brent crude futures (BZ=F) — the global oil benchmark — traded around 0.2% higher to around $87 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (CL=F) were up 0.5% to roughly $83 a barrel. Gold (GC=F) increases cooled a bit after earlier earlier gains, trading up 0.2%.

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