Banks Lead Wall Street Lower On Hedge Fund Default Concerns

Banks Lead Wall Street Lower On Hedge Fund Default Concerns

Wall Street’s main indexes eased on Monday after a surge in the previous session, as global banks said they faced potential losses from a hedge fund’s default on margin calls.

Nomura and Credit Suisse warned of losses after the U.S. hedge fund, named by sources as Archegos Capital, defaulted, hitting shares in some big media and Chinese technology companies.

Shares in Morgan Stanley fell about 3% after the Financial Times reported it had also sold billions of shares, while Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo & Co dropped between 0.3% and 2.7%.

The news has raised concerns about whether the full extent of Archegos’ apparent wipeout has been realized or whether there was more selling to come from other lenders.

Nomura still has positions to unwind, Bloomberg reported, citing a Japan government official.

Shares in Discovery Inc, U.S.-listed shares of Tencent Music , ViacomCBS, Baidu and VIPShop, all linked to Archegos, gave up early gains. Theses stocks lost between 30% and 50% of their value last week.

“It’s a black eye for the financial industry because it suggests that there still may not be a full handle on risk control when it comes to leveraged trading,” said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

“This seems like a pretty specific case. It could lead to increased regulation…but the impact on broader markets is going to be small.”

The Dow and the S&P 500 hit record closing highs on Friday on optimism about speedy vaccinations and record stimulus, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is still about 7.1% from its February all-time closing high.

“We’ve come far really fast and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a pause … especially after the rally that we’ve had and because we don’t have earnings season yet,” said Stephanie Link, chief investment strategist at Hightower Advisors.

At 10:04 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 16.14 points, or 0.05%, at 33,089.02, the S&P 500 was down 16.75 points, or 0.42%, at 3,957.79, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 102.09 points, or 0.78%, at 13,036.64.

Planemaker Boeing Co rose 2.6% after reaching a deal with U.S. budget carrier Southwest Airlines Co for a variant of the 737 MAX aircraft. Southwest’s shares gained about 0.5%.

Bitcoin prices gained about 4% after Visa Inc said it would allow the use of the cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers 1.17-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.65-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 60 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 67 new highs and 17 new lows.


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