On Tuesday, U.S. stocks were down sharply as investors continue trying to grapple with the possibility of coming rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, renewed weakness from the oil industry and the downside of a strong dollar.
The Dow plummeted 333 points equal to 1.9%, its worst fall since October of 2014. The S&P 500 dropped by 35 points equal to 1.7%. The two indexes are now both in the red for 2015. The Nasdaq was down 82 points equal to 1.7%.
Weakness in stock markets in Europe, fueled by sharp drops in the euro against the U.S. dollar also is weighing down markets in the U.S.
The euro reached a new low of 12 years against the dollar dipping as low as 1,077 per one U.S. dollar. The continual drop in the currency’s value spurred on by the government program of bond buying and the result of the strength of the dollar is looked at by Wall Street as a negative.
The strong jobs data in the U.S. last Friday is weighing on the sentiment of investors as they speculate that the Federal Reserve might push forward the timetable for hikes in interest rates.
Wall Street is now expecting the central bank to start increasing rates in June some three months before its prior forecast for November. Lower interest rates are cited for being one of biggest driving forces for the bull market, which started in March of 2009.
Wall Street is starting to see that the bull market is now in its late stages and is not sure how long it will last.
Wholesale sales for January were not encouraging. They plummeted by the largest in over six years by 3.1% said the Commerce Department.
U.S. crude is now trading lower and below the key per barrel price of $50. Calls have come for crude to drop to below $40 per barrel and that has unnerved investors as well. Falling prices of crude hurts the energy industry stocks, which have tried to bounce back following drops of over 50% in prices of crude since their peak of last summer.