U.S. Stocks Led Higher by Financial Companies

By Riva Gold and Ese Erheriene Features Dow Jones Newswires

Stock markets in Europe and Asia extend losses

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-- Technology companies continue to lead declines

-- German 10-year bund yield briefly climbs above 0.4%

Global stocks extended losses Wednesday amid fresh pressure on technology companies, while the euro and government bond yields continued to climb as investors reassessed the course of eurozone monetary policy.

Futures pointed to a 0.2% opening loss for the S&P 500 and the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.9% in morning trading, echoing earlier declines on Wall Street and in Asia.

Europe's tech sector shed 1.6% and Asian tech companies moved lower after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted their biggest daily declines in more than a month on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite posted its biggest drop in weeks while shares of Google parent Alphabet fell 2.5% after a record fine from the European Union's antitrust regulator.

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After gains of 17% so far this year, "Everybody remembers the [year] 2000 slipping of the tech sector," said Jae Yoon, chief investment officer at New York Life Investment Management. "But I have no concerns about tech valuations, he said, noting that in terms of price-to-earnings metrics, the sector is trading much closer in line to the S&P 500 than it did at its peak.

Analysts also said Senate Republicans' decision to delay a vote on their health-care overhaul added to investors' doubts about President Donald Trump's ability to push through other policies such as a tax shakeup, while comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen suggesting asset prices were somewhat rich may have added to the cautious tone.

In Europe Wednesday, export-heavy indexes grappled with a stronger local currency, with the euro last up 0.4% at $1.1374, around its highest since the June 2016 U.K. referendum on European Union membership. It has risen 8.1% against the dollar so far this year, making it among the strongest performing currencies.

The euro posted its best day against the dollar in a year and bond yields climbed after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted Tuesday that the bank might start winding down its massive stimulus program in response to a pickup in the eurozone economy.

"The speech seemed to mark a transition from the 'whatever it takes' period to 'it will take less' and a potential slow turning point in the direction of travel towards tighter policy," said Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank.

Yields on 10-year German bunds continued to rise Wednesday to 0.375% from 0.342% on Tuesday and briefly climbed above 0.4%, while Treasury yields climbed to 2.229% from 2.198%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Mr. Draghi is scheduled to appear again later Wednesday on a panel in Portugal, as are other ECB officials including Yves Mersch and Vítor Constâncio, as some investors remain skeptical of the market moves that followed Tuesday's speech.

"The ECB president has made comments like this before, only for the broader ECB to back off from actually taking any action," said strategists at RMB Global Markets.

Elsewhere in markets, shares of oil-and-gas companies were under pressure as Brent crude oil pared gains after European markets closed Tuesday and was last down 0.5% at $46.69 a barrel.

Asian equities were mostly lower, tracking declines on Wall Street and in Europe on Tuesday. Korea's Kospi's IT subindex slid 2.3% while Taiwan's Taiex was off 1.2%, echoing a selloff in U.S. technology companies. Following declines of nearly 2% by Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, Taiwan's Catcher Technology, Wistron and Pegatron all fell slightly more than 2%.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.5% but higher sovereign-debt yields supported shares of Japanese insurers which are heavy buyers of such securities.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.7% however, helped by gains in banks and resources companies following a recovery in iron-ore futures and base metals prices.

Gold was last up 0.5% at $1,253 an ounce.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Ese Erheriene at ese.erheriene@wsj.com

Shares of financial companies led U.S. stocks higher Wednesday, as major indexes rebounded from their worst session in weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153 points, or 0.7%, to 21464, following its biggest daily drop in more than a month. The S&P 500 gained 0.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.2% coming off its biggest one-day percentage drop since June 9.

Financial stocks led gains in the S&P 500, rising 1.6%.

Investors' shifting expectations for the course of monetary policy in Europe drove some of the day's biggest moves.

Investors have sold government bonds this week amid worries their value might fall if the European Central Bank starts reducing its massive bond-buying program sooner than expected. But investors were reassessing a Tuesday speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that many interpreted as suggesting that the bank might start winding down its stimulus program in response to a pickup in the eurozone economy.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was recently 2.221%, according to Tradeweb, compared with 2.198% Tuesday. Yields on 10-year German bunds were at 0.366%, down from as high as 0.406% earlier in the day but well above where they started the week. Yields rise as prices fall.

The euro gyrated and was recently up 0.4% at $1.1380, following media reports suggesting the ECB thought market participants over-interpreted Tuesday's speech.

Also Wednesday, Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney said interest rates in the U.K. may need to rise if the economy keeps improving.

The pound jumped 1% to $1.2935, weighing on the export-heavy FTSE 100, which fell 0.6%. The Stoxx Europe 600 was little changed.

Technology shares rebounded and were recently up 0.9% in the S&P 500. Tech has been the index's best-performing sector this year, but is down more than 1% this month.

"Everybody remembers the [year] 2000 slipping of the tech sector," said Jae Yoon, chief investment officer at New York Life Investment Management. "But I have no concerns about tech valuations," he said, noting that in terms of price-to-earnings metrics, the sector is trading much closer in line to the S&P 500 than it did at its peak.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.5% but higher sovereign-debt yields supported shares of Japanese insurers, which are heavy buyers of such securities.

Amrith Ramkumar and Ese Erheriene contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 28, 2017 13:25 ET (17:25 GMT)