Dow Slumps Almost 300 Points, Treasury Yields Slide in Midday Trading

US benchmark stock indexes fell, after touching multi-week highs in recent trading sessions, as government bond yields and crude oil slumped after midday on Tuesday.

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The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.6% to 13,607.4, with the S&P 500 down 0.7% to 4,378.3 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1% to 33,971.8. The energy sector was the standout decliner, with all peer groups, except consumer discretionary, in the red intraday.

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The US 10-year yield dropped 5.4 basis points to 3.72%, and the two-year rate slid 3.4 basis points to 4.69% intraday.

In economic news, May housing starts surged 22% from the previous month to a 1.631 million annual rate, above expectations compiled by Bloomberg for 1.400 million after a decrease to 1.340 million in April. Building permits jumped 5.2% to 1.491 million in May, above the 1.425 million expected and following a decline to 1.417 million in April.

The robust housing report brings more focus on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Given the focus on the [Federal Open Market Committee] and its stated data dependency, the market will be watching these for signs of what may happen next,” Saxo Bank said in a note.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil dived 2.2% to $70.17 per barrel.

In company news, PayPal (PYPL) and KKR (KKR) said Tuesday they signed a multi-year agreement for a 3 billion euro ($3.28 billion) replenishing loan commitment. Shares of the payments conglomerate jumped 2.7% intraday, among the top gainers on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Eli Lilly (LLY) shares were up 1% intraday after the drugmaker unveiled plans to acquire Dice Therapeutics (DICE) for $2.4 billion to expand its immunology portfolio.

Alibaba Group (BABA) said that Daniel Zhang plans to step down as chairman and chief executive to focus on the e-commerce giant’s cloud division. Shares of the Chinese behemoth slumped by nearly 5% intraday.

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