This post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.
After trading in a tight range during the morning, stocks fell abruptly in the mid-afternoon and closed essentially at the lows of the day – giving back much of yesterday’s gains.
Putting pressure on the equity markets was the sell-off in 10-year Treasury notes, pushing yields over 3.70 percent to a 6-month high. Investors fear that higher interest rates could slow an economy recovery since lower rates are a key to keeping borrowing costs low.
While the mid-afternoon drop was fairly broad-based, declines in financials, materials, and industrial stocks led the way. Just like yesterday though, volume at the Big Board was light.
After the bell, shares of fabric retailer Jo-Ann Stores trade up 3 percent after reporting Q1 earnings nearly triple the Street’s estimate of 11 cents per share. The company’s bottom line was boosted by a 2.1 percentage point improvement in margins and a 1 percent rise in same-store stores. Full-year earnings guidance of 70 cents to 85 cents is reaffirmed, but that falls shy of expectations of 90 cents.
Traders will have their eyes on a slew of economic data tomorrow morning, as durable goods, weekly jobless claims, and new home sales reports are expected.
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