08:50 AM EST, 02/22/2021 (MT Newswires) -- As of near 8.30am ET, U.S. equity futures had declined as a variety of factors weighed on stocks. The NASDAQ mini had dropped -1.5%, the S&P 500 mini had fallen -0.9% and the Dow mini was off -0.7% in pre-market futures trading. The run-up in interest rates and refinancing costs has become a main source of worry for equities. Of note, equity valuations remain elevated, with Wall Street just shy of record highs. But given that good news has already been priced in, stocks remain vulnerable to profit taking. Additionally, the good news that vaccinations are increasing and infections/hospitalizations are falling is being countered by ongoing news of virus mutations that run the risk of delaying the return to normal activities that the market has priced-in for later this year. Further clouding the bulls' case, China's bank regulator tightened requirements on commercial banks' internet loan business. Notably, China's CSI plunged -3.14%, triggering the selling pressure on global equities. European bourses were modestly weaker, with the Euro Stoxx 50 down -0.8% and Germany's DAX -0.7% in the red.
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