Stock Market Today: Tech Stocks Lag as Treasury Yields Spike

All three major indexes closed lower Thursday as the 10-year Treasury yield hit its highest level since 2008.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks struggled for direction Thursday as investors digested some good-news-is-bad-news economic data and the latest batch of earnings reports. 

The bulk of the day's price action was to the downside, though, with tech stocks seeing outsized losses as Treasury yields spiked to levels not seen since the Great Financial Crisis.  

On the economic front, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index swung to a positive reading of 12.0 in August from last month's reading of -13.5. This was the first time since May 2022 that all of the survey's indicators – general activity, new orders and shipments – were positive. 

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Additionally, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by a more-than-expected 11,000 last week to 239,000. "This morning's unemployment claims data continues to point to a tight labor market while yesterday's release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting revealed that policymakers still believe considerable inflation risks exist," says José Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers. As such, the possibility remains that the Fed will hike rates again at its November meeting, Torres adds. 

Futures traders are currently pricing in a 37% probability of a quarter-point rate hike at the November meeting, up from 27.8% one week ago, according to CME Group.

Walmart stock drops despite earnings beat

In single-stock news, Walmart (WMT, -2.2%) was the latest major retailer to report earnings. In the second quarter, the blue chip retailer reported better-than-expected earnings of $1.84 per share on revenue of $161.6 billion. Additionally, U.S. same-store sales were up 6.4%, well above the 4.1% analysts were expecting, while inventory levels fell 8% from the year prior. The company also raised its full-year guidance.

"Walmart performed better than Target (TGT) due to online spending and mostly because it sells more everyday staples," says Anthony Denier, CEO of investing platform Webull. "Still, rising energy prices, student loan payments starting up again, inflation, more rate hikes and tighter lending standards present headwinds for the retail sector."

Elsewhere, CVS Health (CVS) plummeted 8.1% after Blue Shield of California said it will no longer use the drugstore chain and healthcare services company as its preferred pharmacy benefits partner. While CVS will still provide specialty drugs to Blue Shield of California, the nonprofit health insurer will use Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Company and Amazon Pharmacy as its main pharmacy network.

U.S. Steel rises on reports of another potential bidder

Another notable mover today was U.S. Steel (X), which added 0.2% after Reuters reported ArcelorMittal (MT, +0.7%) is considering a potential buyout offer for the Pittsburgh-based steel company. 

ArcelorMittal would join Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF, -2.5%) and privately owned Esmark as potential suitors for the company. The two firms have recently put in offers of $7.3 billion and $7.8 billion, respectively, for U.S. Steel. As a result, shares of X have shot up almost 40% in the past week.

As for the major indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.8% at 34,474, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.8% to 4,370. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.2% to 13,316 as rate-sensitive tech and communication services stocks like Apple (AAPL, -1.5%) and Netflix (NFLX, -3.0%) fell amid spiking Treasury yields. Most notably, the 10-year Treasury yield jumped 2.6 basis points to 4.284% – its highest level since early 2008. (A basis point = 0.01%)

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Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.