U.S. stocks sank, retreating from all-time highs as commodities producers and industrial shares took a hit with oil and metals in decline. Treasuries rose amid Congressional talks to avert a government shutdown.
All major equity gauges were lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 300 points from its intraday high of 26,086.12 after blowing past the round-number milestone early in the session. The S&P 500 Index’s drop left it more than 1 percent lower than its session high. The dollar was little changed after an earlier gain.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed, tracking an advance in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index after Hong Kong stocks hit a record. Emerging-market stocks jumped, consolidating at the highest level in almost a decade.
The recent climb by equities, spurred in part by synchronized global economic growth, has some investors wondering if there’s too much short-term froth in the market.
“This is going to be a philosophical question within the market, in terms of how much higher earnings growth from tax cuts is worth in terms of valuation, and how much is it worth just purely on a dollar per share earnings basis,” Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro at Fidelity Investments, said by phone. “I think that the market’s trying to figure that out, and on top of that you have the classic momentum story.”
Investors are increasingly on alert for potential threats to the risk-on mood. As earnings season picks up steam, corporate results are set to be the big focus in Europe ahead of central bank meetings in the U.S., Japan and Europe before the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the yen climbed for a sixth straight day despite a warning from Japan’s finance minister about excessively rapid moves in the currency market. And bitcoin joined a slump in cryptocurrencies, tumbling nearly 20 percent to nearly $11,192.