Stocks and many exchange-traded funds (ETFs) lost ground for a third straight day as investors grew increasingly uneasy about a recent move away from riskier assets and into U.S. Treasuries.
As investors moved money out of stocks, they moved money into safer investments like Treasury bills, report Stephen Bernard and Tim Paradis for the Associated Press. The yield on the three-month T-bill today was 0.02%, after falling to a yield of 0.005% late Thursday. In fact, yields briefly turned negative Thursday as demand jumped for this safest of short-term investments. The SPDR Barclays Capital 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (NYSE: BIL) has a year-to-date return of 0.22%, with a yield of 0.28%. (For more stories on Treasuries, see our treasury bonds category).
Disappointing results from Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), the world’s number-three PC brand, weighed on investor sentiment. Dell is recovering from the global slowdown a bit slower than its competitors because of its reliance on commercial versus consumer business, writes Kelvin Soh for Reuters. Dell did say, however, that PC demand has picked up following the launch of Windows 7 from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). The Technology Select SPDR ETF (NYSE: XLK) and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Index Fund (NYSE: IYW) are both just down fractionally for the day. However, Dell’s stock is currently down more than 8%. (For more stories on the technology sector, see our technology category).
Home-building giant DR Horton (NYSE: DHI) said today that orders surged 26% on a unit basis and that it narrowed its fiscal fourth-quarter loss. However, the company did miss analyst estimates and took hefty land-related charges, reports Dawn Wotapka for the Dow Jones Newswires. The company went on say that conditions are still challenging in the industry because of rising unemployment, weak consumer confidence and high inventory levels. The stock is currently down more than 9%, while the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE: XHB) is down 2% today. (For more stories on the homebuilding industry, see our homebuilders category).
Tony D’Altorio contributed to this article.
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