(Reuters) – U.S. stocks tumbled anew on Thursday on fresh concerns over rising bond yields, as investors remained on edge after several days of volatile trading.
Major indexes pared losses somewhat in early afternoon trading after falling more than 2 percent during the session.
The benchmark S&P 500 was set for a second day of declines, following sharp swings in recent sessions including its biggest drop in more than six years that pulled equities away from record highs.
The sharp selloff in recent days was kicked off with concerns over rising inflation and bond yields, sparked by Friday’s January U.S. jobs report, with investors pointing to additional pressure from the violent unwind of trades linked to bets on volatility staying low.
“When yields move up there is an unsettling feeling in the equity market,” said Jason Ware, chief investment officer at Albion Financial Group in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“The market is trying to find a bottom to this madness.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 517.19 points, or 2.08 percent, to 24,376.16, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 46.16 points, or 1.72 percent, to 2,635.5 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 130.99 points, or 1.86 percent, to 6,921.00.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield US10YT=RR rose as high as 2.884 percent, nearing Monday’s four-year peak of 2.885 percent, before retreating, after the Bank of England said interest rates probably need to rise sooner than previously expected.
“What we’re seeing today is continued concerns around interest rates going higher, around valuations in the stock market,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer with Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Financials .SPSY and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD stocks fell the most, while utilities .SPLRCU were the lone major S&P sector in positive territory.
Investors are weighing whether the sharp swings this week are the start of a deeper correction or just a temporary bump in the nine-year bull market.
Additional reporting by Megan Davies and Sinead Carew in New York, Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Chizu Nomiyama