Big Tech Selloff Prompts "Fear Gauge" Spike

After trading deep in triple-digit territory the entire day, the Dow managed a frantic late-afternoon surge to finish marginally higher. But for most of the session, a Big Tech selloff and cautionary interest rate comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took a toll on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 finished in the red, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq registered its third-straight loss, with FAANG names all shedding at least 1%. Amid growing concerns over rising inflation, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), surpassed the 20 level for the first time since March.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 34,133.03) rose 19.80 points or 0.06% for the day. Dow Inc (DOW) led the Dow components with a 2.6% rise, while Apple (AAPL) paced the laggards, falling 3.5%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,164.66dropped 28 points or 0.7% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 13,633.50fell 261.6 points or 1.9% for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 19.48) added 1.2 point or 6.4% for the day.

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Oil prices jumped on Tuesday, as investors became optimistic the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the U.S. and the U.K would create additional demand for the commodity. More specifically, the European Commission is considering allowing fully vaccinated travelers and tourists from countries with “a good epidemiological situation." In turn, June-dated crude rose $1.20, or 1.9%, to settle at $65.69 per barrel. 

Gold prices finished lower, however, on the heels of Yellen's comments suggesting the Federal Reserve may need to hike interest rates up. Strength in the U.S. dollar following her remarks may have undercut they yellow metal. In response, June-dated gold dipped $15.80, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,776 an ounce.  

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