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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks fall with tech shares; dollar touches lowest since late February

Tue, 18th May 2021 22:53

* All three major stock indexes end lower

* Dollar, oil lower

* Eyes on Fed minutes
(New throughout, updates to U.S. market close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks fell on
Tuesday, with technology shares turning lower in late New York
trading, while the U.S. dollar touched its lowest level since
late February.

The Nasdaq also reversed course to end the day lower, while
the Dow and S&P 500 added to declines late in the session. The
S&P 500 technology index was the biggest drag on the
benchmark S&P 500.

Investors were anxious ahead of Wednesday's release of
minutes from the Federal Reserve's April policy meeting. Rising
inflationary pressure in the United States has been increasing
investor speculation the Fed could possibly raise interest rates
sooner than anticipated.

While few market-watchers expect big surprises from the
minutes, "the market is bracing for a transition," said Quincy
Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in
Newark, New Jersey. "So there's a little bit of de-risking going

Fed Vice-Chair Richard Clarida on Monday pointed to the weak
April jobs report as proof of lingering weakness in the economy.

Telecommunications shares lost ground, while retailers
mostly gained. Walmart Inc, the world's biggest
retailer, raised its full-year earnings forecast. AT&T Inc
added to declines from Monday, when it said it would cut its
dividend payout ratio.

Concern over the Israel-Palestinian conflict added to
investor unease, Krosby said.

World powers including the United States urged a truce in
the conflict as Israel bombarded Gaza with air strikes and
Palestinian militants resumed cross-border rocket fire on

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell
267.13 points, or 0.78%, to 34,060.66, the S&P 500 lost
35.46 points, or 0.85%, to 4,127.83 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 75.41 points, or 0.56%, to 13,303.64.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.17% and
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained

Still, the dollar dipped for the fourth straight session on
waning fears over the Fed's outlook. The progress of COVID-19
vaccine deployment and easing of measures to contain the
pandemic have lifted higher-risk currencies that stand to
benefit most from economic revival.

The dollar index fell 0.437%, with the euro up
0.02% to $1.2222.

Bitcoin dipped 1.9% to a more than three-month
low, extending its slide after Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk
dampened enthusiasm for the cryptocurrency over the weekend.

Nominal U.S. Treasury yields remained little changed, with
the yield on 10-year Treasury notes up 0.9 basis
point at 1.649%, below a spike above 1.75% reached in late

Investors are awaiting the release of the Fed minutes, but
nothing significant is expected, said Guy LeBas, chief fixed
income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

"It's unlikely that we're going to get material changes out
of the FOMC minutes," he said.

Oil prices settled lower. Media reports said the United
States and Iran have made progress on reviving a deal
restricting the OPEC country's nuclear weapons development,
which would boost crude supply.

Brent crude fell 1.1% to settle at $68.71, while
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1.2% to
U.S. gold futures gained 0.03% to $1,867.80 an ounce.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York
Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan and Stephen Culp,
Laura Sanicola and Herbert Lash in New York
Editing by Dan Grebler and Matthew Lewis)

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