Why Stocks Plunged Last Week
Interest rates rose on inflation fears, cratering stocks for the week. On Friday, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index plunged by 2.1%, capping a 3.9% drop for the week, the biggest weekly loss in two years.
It was a week of big financial news: Janet Yellen exited as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors, ceding control of the nation's central bank to Jerome Powell; the political crisis in Washington, D.C. deepened, adding to investor jitters; and employment costs soared while new figures on jobs and wages stoked inflation fears.
The yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose from 2.4% to 2.8% in just the past month, according to data from the Fed. Meanwhile, in the same period, the yield on a 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Security moved up only slightly. The difference between the nominal 10-year Treasury bond yield and the TIPS yield shows the market's expectations of rising inflation over the next 10 years.
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