Tech and health care drop stocks lower; bond yields rise

Gold Price Drops as US Treasury Yields Push Higher

A surge in USA government bond yields to their highest level in nearly 7 years sent Wall Street shares sliding on Tuesday after strong retail sales data stoked inflation concerns and investors fretted about looming trade talks between the United States and China.

Losses in technology and health care companies helped pull stocks lower Tuesday, snapping an eight-day winning streak by the Dow Jones industrial average. A slide in smaller-company stocks offset gains in large companies.

The S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent to 2,711.45 as health care and real estate stocks lagged. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Growth TSM Index closed at 9,941.29 for a loss of -8.02 points or -0.08%.

Among the technology stocks pressuring the overall market, Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, fell 2%, while Facebook Inc. lost 1.2%. At 3.08% earlier today, it was the highest yield since July 2011.

Markets focused early on economic reports with sales at USA retailers rising for a second straight month in April.

Core April retail sales - which excludes gasoline, automobiles, building materials and food services - rose at a brisker 0.4 percent monthly pace over March, as consumer spending is quickening its pace after a first-quarter slowdown.

Gold Price Drops as US Treasury Yields Push Higher

The Canadian dollar hit a near one-week low against its USA counterpart as the greenback broadly rose and investors weighed prospects of a deadline being met for a new North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. Bond yields tend to rise when investors expect faster economic growth and higher inflation.

The Federal Reserve has signaled it will raise rates twice more this year, after having done so in March, and most economists foresee the next increase in June.

The probability that the USA central bank will raise its benchmark rate a fourth time this year went above 50 percent for the first time, according to the CME's FedWatch tracking tool for the fed funds futures market. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oil, added shed 8 cents to $78.35 a barrel in London.

Air Canada rose 4.4 per cent after JP Morgan upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral". The euro weakened to $1.1847 from $1.1944. Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent after new data showed the country's economy slowed in the first quarter.

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged down 0.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.2 percent.

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