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Wall Street falls under pressure from technology companies; Market focuses on interest rates

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By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) – Wall Street closed lower on Monday, a session highlighted by the Nasdaq’s decline, as investors sold high-growth and tech stocks ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting. week and the expected increase in interest rates.

* Developments in the Ukraine-Russia conflict added to investor caution as delegations from both countries held a fourth round of talks on Monday, but no breakthrough was announced, while Russian forces allowed a first convoy of Vehicles escape from the besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol.

* Shares of Apple Inc fell after its supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, known as Foxconn, suspended operations in Shenzhen, China, amid rising COVID-19 cases.

* Markets expect the Fed to raise interest rates on Wednesday for the first time since December 2018 in an effort to combat rising inflation.

* “We’re seeing that rotation toward value and away from growth, and a lot of that is related to what’s happening with interest rates,” said Paul Nolte, a retired portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management in Chicago. “Equity markets are going to be challenged in the future, and today is another example of that.”

* Technology and consumer discretionary sectors were among the biggest drags on the S&P 500. Higher interest rates are a negative for growth and technology stocks because their valuations are more dependent on future cash flows.

* Based on preliminary closing data, the S&P 500 lost 31.85 points, or 0.76%, to 4,172.46 points, while the Nasdaq fell 265.87 points, or 2.07%, to 12,577.94 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.68 points, or 0.01%, to 32,939.51 points.

* Energy stocks fell as Brent crude slipped below $110 a barrel, a week after it surged as high as $139 due to the Ukraine crisis.

(Additional reporting by Devik Jain and Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)

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