U.S. stock indexes were mixed in early trading on Tuesday as markets continue to absorb the shakeout from last week’s rapid rise in interest rates.
Higher interest rates can slow the economy, and the International Monetary Fund cited them late Monday when it downgraded its forecast for global economic growth. It also cited ongoing trade battles as another reason.
Stocks of raw-material producers had some of the day’s sharpest losses after PPG warned of higher costs and softer demand from China, while technology stocks regained some of their sharp losses from last week.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 1 point, or less than 0.1 percent, at 2,885, as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern time. It had wavered between small gains and losses earlier. Slightly more stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 34, or 0.1 percent, to 26,452, and the Nasdaq composite gained 27, or 0.4 percent, to 7,763.
INTEREST RATES: Investors have been keenly focused on bond yields since last week, when they rose sharply following several encouraging reports on the economy. If rates go high enough, they can drive investors away from stocks and into bonds.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 3.21 percent from 3.22 late Friday, after bond markets were closed on Monday due to a holiday. It traded at just 3.05 percent last Tuesday, and the speed of the recent rise has been more concerning to investors than the degree.
Rates are still relatively low, and the Federal Reserve’s main interest rate is still less than half of what it was in 2006 before the Great Recession.
MATERIAL CONCERNS: PPG, which sells paints and coatings, sank 8.2 percent to $100.58 for one of the worst losses in the S&P 500 after it warned that higher costs for oil and other materials will weigh on its third-quarter results. It also said that demand is weakening in China, as well as in the United States and Europe for automotive refinish products.
The profit warning helped send raw-material producers in the S&P 500 down 2.1 percent for the sharpest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the index.
MARKETS ABROAD: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.3 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1 percent and the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2 percent.
In Europe, the CAC 40 in France dipped 0.2 percent, and the German DAX fell 0.3 percent. the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.4 percent.
IMF DOWNGRADE: The International Monetary Fund has said the global economy will grow 3.7 percent this year, the same as in 2017, but down from its earlier forecast of 3.9 percent. The IMF also cut its forecast for Chinese economic growth in 2019 to 6.2 percent, which would be its slowest since 1990.
COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 28 cents to $74.57 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 45 cents to $84.36.
Gold slipped 80 cents to $1,187.80.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.26 Japanese yen from 112.98 yen late Monday. The euro slipped to $1.1448 from $1.1488, and the British pound fell to $1.3050 from $1.3090.
Source: The Associated Press