It’s a regular day of business for the U.S. stock market on Monday, October 10, as equity exchanges stay open for Columbus Day, a federal holiday that also has been recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Bond markets, however, take the day off, which means a long weekend for the Treasury market, corporate bonds and other forms of tradable debt, starting after the close of business on Friday.
Stocks have endured a brutal selloff in the first nine months of the year as the Federal Reserve has worked to fight inflation that’s been stuck near it highest levels since the early 1980s.
The central bank’s main tool to battle inflation has been to dramatically increase interest rates, while also shrinking its balance sheet, in an effort to tighten financial conditions and squelch demand for goods and services, while also bringing down stubbornly high costs of living, including food, shelter and energy prices.
The Fed’s focus in recent months also has been on cooling the roaring labor market, with strong wage gains in the past year viewed as one of several culprits behind elevated inflation.
Friday’s jobs report for September pegged the unemployment rate as matching a prepandemic low of 3.5%, dashing hopes for now of a significant trend toward a pullback in the labor market.
The S&P 500 index
tumbled 1.9% on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index
was off 2.6%. And early October rally had offered some hope for a bounce for stocks, after a brutal first nine months for investors.
Bonds also have undergone a painful repricing this year as volatility tied to the Fed’s monetary tightening campaign has eroded the value of bonds issued in the past decade of low rates.
The S&P 500 is down about 23% for the year, the Dow off 19% and the Nasdaq off 31% since January. The 10-year Treasury rate
was near 3.9% Friday, after recently touching 4%, it’s highest since 2010