Interest Rate Fears Still Pervade Markets, NASDAQ off for 4th Day

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ fell Thursday as concerns resurfaced over the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy path, and whether policymakers will enact another hike this year.

The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 33.8 points to pause for lunch Thursday at 34,476.99.

The S&P 500 index slid 22.14 points to 4,443.34.

The NASDAQ index sagged 183.57 points, or 1.3%, to 13,688.91, falling for a fourth consecutive day.

Apple shares dropped 3% on a Bloomberg News report that China’s looking to broaden a ban on the use of iPhones in state-owned companies and agencies. Technology and semiconductor stocks lagged, with Tesla, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices last down more than 2% each.

Traders also combed through the latest corporate earnings reports. slid 12% after reporting lower-than-expected gross margin in the recent quarter, while ChargePoint Holdings plunged 17% after missing revenue estimates.

A series of economic data points Thursday — including fewer-than-expected jobless claims — contributed to fears that the still strong labor market may make the Federal Reserve think twice about relaxing its tight monetary policy stance. Weekly jobless claims came in at 216,000, versus the 230,000 expected by Dow Jones, while second-quarter labor costs rose more than anticipated.

While 93% of interest rate traders foresee no change at September’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, expectations of an additional interest rate hike at the November meeting rose to 45%,

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 4.28% from Wednesday’s 4.29%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices ducked three cents to $87.51 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were static $1,944.20 U.S. an ounce.