Dow, Nasdaq Open Lower; Bitcoin Price Sinks — Live Updates

Stocks are facing a second straight down day to open 2024.

Major indexes in the U.S. retreated further Wednesday, a day after the Nasdaq Composite fell more than 1%. The tech-led pullback is a sharp contrast from the year-end market rally, as investors bet the Federal Reserve would soon begin cutting interest rates.

Futures markets show traders still expect the cuts are likely to start as soon as March. Meantime, investors will eye fresh data for hints on whether that could change.

Stock indexes fell, including a 0.9% drop for the Nasdaq Composite.

Pharma stocks bucked the trend. Eli Lilly shares were up nearly 2%. Amgen, Merck and UnitedHealth also gained.

Benchmark Treasury yields reached 4%. The 10-year yield, which settled Tuesday at 3.944%, is on pace to rise for a fourth session.

Oil prices rose amid continued concerns about instability in the Middle East. Brent crude advanced toward $77 a barrel.

Data watch: Jobs and manufacturing indicate that the economy is slowly losing steam.

Japan’s yen continued to weaken in the wake of the major earthquake; the country’s stock market is closed for a holiday. Other overseas stock markets mostly fell.

Bitcoin fell below $43,000.