Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 831 points on Wednesday trading

US stock indexes keep falling as rates resume their climb

Technology stocks slid more than 2 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index down 3 percent after Swiss vacuum valve maker VAT Group said demand from chip equipment makers was softening. Technology stocks dropped 3 percent, with Netflix, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet leading the way.

The S&P 500 index hasn't suffered a five-day losing streak since November 2016, just before the U.S. presidential election.

Microsoft lost 1.4 percent in early trading Wednesday and 3M gave up 1.6 percent. Insurance companies slumped as Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle. Higher rates can slow economic growth, erode corporate profits and make investors less willing to pay high prices for stocks. The most recent, starting in 2007, lasted about 2 1/2 years, though it took another four for the bull market to exceed highs reached in 2007.

Gina Martin Adams, the chief equity strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence, said investors fear that company profit margins will be squeezed by rising costs, including the price of oil.

The Nasdaq composite, which has a high concentration of technology companies, suffered its biggest loss in more than two years and has dropped nearly 8 percent since the start of October.

YIELDS: The biggest driver for the market over the last week has been interest rates, which began spurting higher following several encouraging reports on the economy.

The broader All Ordinaries was down 124.9 points, or 2.03 per cent, at 6,038.9, while the Australian dollar was buying 70.65 United States cents from 70.13 on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 lost 94 points, or 3.3 percent, to 2,785.

Adams said investors have concerns about their future profitability, too, making technology stocks more volatile in the last few months.

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When investors expect rates to rise, the prices of bonds paying lower interest rates falls. That didn't happen Wednesday as stocks fell further late in the day. It was more than US$40 five years ago.

That all played into a market that is increasingly anxious about global growth after warnings from the International Monetary Fund this week and a rise in Treasury yields to a more than 7-year high above 3 percent that signals a tightening of available capital globally.

Sears has closed hundreds of stores and sold several famous brands or put them on the block as it sees more customers abandon its stores. The Nasdaq composite fell 73 points, or 1 percent, to 7,663.

Higher bond rates can weigh on stocks as they provide more competition for yield-hungry investors. Silver dipped 0.5 percent to $14.33 an ounce.

Big moves in interest rates tend to unsettle investors, and they can also push them to sell stocks and buy bonds instead.

There were, however, slight lifts for Japan's Nikkei, which added 0.2 per cent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which gained 0.2 per cent.

It followed a bleak session in Europe, where Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 had each ended the day more than 2% lower. Brazil's Bovespa lost 2.5 percent and the Merval in Argentina sank 2.2 percent.

The euro and sterling rose, underpinned by optimism for a Brexit deal, while the USA dollar lost ground against a basket of currencies even as US yields hovered near multiyear peaks.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.53 percent versus the greenback at 112.36.

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