Friday, June 18, 2021 – U.S. stocks are firmly lower in early trading Friday as investors weigh perceived “hawkish” commentary from St. Louis Fed President Bullard. He said due to high inflation, it may be appropriate for the U.S. central bank to begin raising rates in late 2022, which is earlier than the Fed’s median projections calling for two rate hikes in 2023. The Dow is falling 388 points, heading for its worst week since late January, while the S&P 500 is declining 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite is sliding 0.5%, but remains pace to rise for a fifth-straight week.

The U.S. dollar is adding 0.4%, extending its weekly rally to 2%. Treasuries are mixed, with the yield curve continuing to flatten. The yield on the more Fed-sensitive two-year note is jumping five basis points to 0.26%, while the benchmark 10-year note is off one basis point to 1.50%. In commodities, WTI crude is adding 0.3% to $71.23, rebounding after notching its worst session in a month on Thursday. COMEX gold is little changed at $1774.20/ounce and heading for a 5.5% weekly slide. Volatility and trading volume are expected to see an uptick today, as options and futures on indexes and equities expire in a quarterly event known as “triple witching.”

In earnings, Adobe is rising 1.9% after issuing upbeat forward guidance following a top and bottom line beat. Smith & Wesson Brands is jumping 11.4% after easily topping Wall Street’s earnings and revenue estimates. Breadth is negative on issues by 5:1 on the NYSE and 3:1 on the Nasdaq.

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