The Dow and broader U.S. stock market extended their slide Monday after an inverted yield curve stoked fears of an impending recession for the world’s largest economy.
Dow Extends Slide; S&P 500, Nasdaq Follow
All of Wall Street’s major indexes continued lower at the start of the week, reflecting a tepid pre-market session for Dow futures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by as much as 128 points before paring losses later in the session. The index was last down 62 points, or 0.2%, to 25,440.08.
The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks declined 0.4% to close at 2,790.73. Eight of 11 primary sectors were in the red, with information technology losing 0.9%. Shares of financials companies were off 0.8% and communication services were down 0.7%.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.4% to 7,609.47.
The Yield Curve Has Inverted
Stocks experienced a brutal selloff Friday after a closely-watched yield curve inverted for the first time in 12 years, sending a strong signal that the U.S. economy was heading toward recession. As Hacked reported Friday, the spread between the 3-month Treasury bill and 10-year note inverted for the first time since 2007 as investors piled into the perceived safety net of bonds.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell as low as 2.42% on Friday, putting it below the yield on the three-month T-bill (2.455%). The spread between the two bond yields is the most closely watched by economists.
Under President Trump, the U.S. economy has managed to dodge recessionary headwinds to grow at its fastest rate in years. This included an annual growth clip of 4.2% in the second quarter of 2018, the fastest since the U.S. economy bounced back from the polar vortex in 2014.
Growth has stalled in recent quarters, falling as low as 2.6% annually in Q4. Though much better than most of its global counterparts, the U.S. economy is being pressured by a protracted trade war with China and a shaky manufacturing sector. Housing is also in the midst of a multi-year cool down due to affordability challenges and rising interest rates.