Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Friday as U.S. Treasury yields hovered near multi-year highs following hawkish remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, while the Middle East conflict kept investors jittery. Israel levelled a northern Gaza district on Friday and hit an Orthodox Christian church where others had been sheltering, as it made clear that a command to invade Gaza was expected soon. Speaking at the Economic Club of New York on Thursday, Powell said the U.S. economy’s strength and continued tight labor markets could require tougher borrowing conditions to control inflation. “It was good news that he insinuated that November is off the table for a rate hike,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth. “But he left the possibility open for additional rate hike … the economy is still moving forward and inflation is still high so that’s what has the market on edge.” Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told CNBC that while inflation remained too high, it falling amid mounting evidence of an economic slowdown, and that could open the door to a softer monetary policy late next year. BofA Global Research said it now expects the U.S. central bank to deliver a 25-basis-point rate hike in December instead of November. Comments from Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will also be on investors’ radar during the day as Fed officials enter a media blackout from Saturday ahead of their meeting on Nov. 1. The 10-year Treasury yield, which briefly crossed 5% on Thursday for the first time since July 2007, was last at 4.9264%. Traders see a near 99% chance the Fed will keep benchmark rates unchanged in November, while their bets for a pause in December stood at around 79%, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool. The Cboe Volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, was near its highest level since March. At 9:43 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 19.86 points, or 0.06%, at 33,394.31, the S&P 500 was down 4.47 points, or 0.10%, at 4,273.53, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 22.46 points, or 0.17%, at 13,163.71. Accounting for Friday’s moves, all three indexes are on course for weekly declines. Consumer discretionary, energy and information technology led declines amongst the major S&P 500 sectors. Consumer staples and real estate were the top gainers. Third-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 companies are expected to increase 1.1% year-on-year, compared with a 1.6% rise estimated on Thursday, as per LSEG data. SolarEdge slumped 30.7% after it warned of significantly lower revenue in the fourth quarter. Regions Financial slid 11.9% after the lender said it expects its fourth-quarter net interest income (NII) to decline about 5% compared with the preceding three months. Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms Coinbase Global, Riot Platforms and Marathon Digital rose between 2.9% and 6.9%, tracking higher bitcoin prices. Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 1.12-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.36-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and 22 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded one new high and 190 new lows.

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