By Christine Idzelis and William Watts
Meanwhile, sales of new homes in the U.S. slowed in April to an annual rate of 591,000, tumbling 16.6% from 709,000 in March, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast sales to take place at a 750,000 annual rate.
The drop, which came amid high prices and soaring mortgage rates, marked the fourth straight month of declines in new home sales.
“The consumer backdrop is softening,” said David Page, head of macroeconomic research at AXA Investment Managers, in a phone interview Tuesday. The housing market is “always one of the first areas to start to soften in the face of rising rates.”
In U.S. economic data, businesses expanded at the slowest pace in several months , reflecting the effects of high inflation, ongoing supply shortages and some softening in customer demand, according to the S&P flash U.S. purchasing managers indexes.
As for corporate earnings, shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. plunged Tuesday after the apparel retailer reported a first-quarter loss and provided a weak outlook.
Consumer discretionary was the second-hardest hit sector in the S&P 500 index on Tuesday, dropping 2.6%, according to FactSet data. The S&P 500’s communication services sector, which includes tech giants Meta, Google parent Alphabet and Twitter, suffered the biggest losses with a 3.7% drop.
Which companies were in focus?
How did other assets fare?
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -0.46% dropped 9.9 basis points to 2.758%, as investors sought safety in government debt. Yields and Treasury prices move opposite each other.
The ICE Dollar Index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY -0.06% , which measures the greenback against major currencies, was off 0.3%.
In oil futures /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 +0.35% , West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery slipped 0.5% to end at $109.77 a barrel. Gold for June delivery rose 1% to settle at $1,865.40 an ounce.
Bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD +0.22% was up 0.2% at $29,348.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.19% finished 2.4% lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.72% fell 1.7% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.29% dropped 0.9%.
— -Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report.