Market Wrap: S&P Posts Worst Day in 2 Months on Rate Worries

Stocks Close Down Over 100 Points
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks fell Tuesday, giving the S&P 500 its biggest decline in two months, on increasing views the Federal Reserve may raise rates as soon as June.

The Dow and S&P 500 ended in negative territory for the year, with the S&P 500 off 3.5 percent from its March 2 record closing high.

Those Fed worries pushed the U.S. dollar to a nearly 12-year peak against the euro, and added to concerns the dollar will continue to weigh on U.S. multinationals' earnings.

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-The issue out there has been the strong employment report, which has set off fears of an interest rate hike by the Fed sooner or more aggressively than had been anticipated.%Friday's stronger-than-expected jobs report was largely behind the recent rate jitters.

"The issue out there has been the strong employment report, which has set off fears of an interest rate hike by the Fed sooner or more aggressively than had been anticipated," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.

All 10 of the S&P 500 sectors ended lower. Financial and technology sectors, each down more than 2 percent, were the biggest drags. Shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) were down 2.5 percent at $53.29.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 332.78 points, or 1.85 percent, to 17,662.94, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) lost 35.27 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,044.16, its biggest daily percentage decline since Jan. 5.

The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 82.64 points, or 1.67 percent, to 4,859.80.

The euro was last down 1.4 percent at $1.0696 after hitting $1.0691, the lowest in almost 12 years.

"For large-cap U.S. multinationals, what will the be the cost of hedging and the impact on earnings growth?" said Oliver Pursche, chief executive officer of Bruderman Brothers in Suffern, New York.

Shares of IDT (IDT) dropped 21.2 percent to $16.30, a day after it released results.

On the upside, Urban Outfitters (URBN) rose 11.5 percent to $44.06, the S&P 500's biggest daily percentage gainer, after reporting earnings late Monday that beat expectations.

About 7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, above the 6.5 billion average for the month to date, according to BATS Global Markets.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,256 to 835, for a 2.70-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,077 issues fell and 664 advanced, for a 3.13-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and 15 new lows; the Nasdaq composite recorded 44 new highs and 87 new lows.

-With additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica.

What to watch Wednesday:
  • The Treasury Department releases federal budget for February at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
Earnings Season
These selected companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial results:
  • Express (EXPR)
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD)
  • Shake Shack (SHAK)
  • Men's Wearhouse (MW)
The 6 Best Things to Buy in March
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Market Wrap: S&P Posts Worst Day in 2 Months on Rate Worries
The travel industry sees a decline in travel throughout late winter, including March. That's often because people don't have a reason, or the time, to get away. If you can, though, take advantage of the low prices, which are found across the board. Cash in those airline miles, pick up that new luggage you've been meaning to buy and plan for a weekend getaway that'll give you some reprieve from the humdrum of your current life. Prices are lower on car rentals, airfare, lodging, travel essentials and more.
Now that the lovey-doviest day of the year has passed -- and there's no major jewelry-buying holiday in sight until Mother's Day -- retailers are eager to move their bling. Keep an eye out for in-store and online specials at your favorite retailers during all of March and even into April. Also, don't be afraid to put your haggling hat on and negotiate lower prices, even if there isn't a sale going on. Because of the pressure to sell during this slow time, you'll have an easier time negotiating with desperate sales reps.
March is National Reading Month, so expect an uptick in sales and specials throughout the month as retailers celebrate. Also be sure to shop clearance sections at your local bookstore and cash in on those coupons and online discount codes. For even cheaper books, try try thrift stores and websites such as
There's a noticeable shift in scents at the change of every season. For example, winter calls for richer, heavier personal fragrances, and candles and other home fragrances are typically very wintry (cranberries, birch trees, etc.) during the cold months. Perfumers and home fragrance retailers are putting out new scents right now, which means last season's goods are hitting the clearance bin. Stock up for now and later.
As we get closer to warmer weather, people pull up their sleeves and prepare for spring cleaning and organizing. So this is the time for new products (even if it's just a slight change in formulation or scent),and introductory rates to get you to try them. Keep your eyes peeled and your home fresh.
March is also National Frozen Food Month, so expect coupons and specials from frozen-food firms. To keep track of specials and to find coupons, follow these companies on social media, get e-mail blasts from them and pick up your Sunday paper. Score better deals when you stack a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon or special.
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