Stocks recover from intraday lows, but tech shares remain under pressure.
U.S. stocks finished well off session lows on Monday, though plunging tech shares weighed on the Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ).
The tech-focused average closed down 0.7% at 7,735.95, its third consecutive drop. The Nasdaq is currently sitting at its lowest level since early August.
After a difficult open, the broader S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) closed flat at 2,884.43. Eight of 11 primary sectors recorded gains, led by consumer staples, utilities and financials shares. On the opposite side of the spectrum, information technology declined 1% as a sector.
Dow industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA) managed to hold gains, with the Dow 30 index climbing 39.73 points, or 0.2%, to close at 26,486.78.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) rose sharply on Monday, reaching its highest level in over two months. The so-called “fear index” peaked at 18.38 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. It would later settle at 15.84, having gained 6.9% on the day.
Markets have been under pressure by rising interest rates as investors continue to offload U.S. government debt. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury jumped above 3.20% last week, the highest since 2011.
The Final Word: Interest-rate jitters continue to weigh on investors following the September FOMC meeting. An improving domestic economy puts the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates again in December. A December liftoff would mark the fourth rate hike of the year.