The Dow and US stocks were all over the place in choppy Thursday trading, after the bond market once again flashed warning lights that a recession could be coming.
Investors are also eagerly awaiting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole on Friday, as they search for direction about the future of US monetary policy.
Stocks finished mixed, with only the Dow (INDU) eking out a gain. The index closed up 0.2%, or 50 points, after swinging nearly 300 points from positive into negative, then back. The S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) closed down 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively.
Still, all three indexes are on track for their first positive week since late July, according to Refinitiv.
The 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields inverted Thursday, as well as just before Wednesday’s closing bell. This means that the shorter-dated bond yielded more than the longer-dated one. It was the second time it happened this month, and an inverted yield curve has preceded each recession in the modern era.
Bond yields rose Thursday morning, easing investors’ attention. The 10-year yield last sat at 1.6114%.
The minutes of the Fed’s July meeting showed that the Fed saw the July rate cut as an adjustment and wants to keep its options open for future rate cuts. The July rate cut was the first since 2008. Powell is due to speak at 10 a.m. ET on Friday.
So far, expectations for a September rate cut are still at roughly 94%, down from 98% on Wednesday.
“If Powell refrains in signaling more easing is coming, he will risk having the bond market overreact and crush Treasury yields, possibly raising the argument we could see negative yields eventually in America,” said E