Wall Street finished lower on Tuesday, but not at the day's low, as solid PMIs and an almost 2% rise in oil prices rekindled doubts about the timing of a Fed rate cut (over 60% of investors still expect a June easing).

The Dow Jones dropped 1% to 39,170, the S&P500 fell 0.72% to nearly 5,206 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.95% to 16,240 (from -1.5% at the day's low).

The Nasdaq was weighed down by Tesla -4.9% (first drop in quarterly deliveries in four years), Sirius -3.7%, Illumina -3.2%, AMD -2.5%, KLA -2.4%, Cisco -1.4%, Micron -1.3%, Nvidia -1% and Intel (-1.3%, but -4.3% after the close with the revelation of a -$7 billion operating loss on its 'chip' foundry activity).

Some stocks held up well, notably the oil companies (a barrel of oil set a new annual record at $85.55) with Marathon +3.5%, Valero +2.7%, Exxon +2%, EOG +1.9%, Conoco +1.6%, Occidental +1.3%.

Heavy falls for airlines and cruise lines, as well as for homebuilders DR Horton -3.9%, Pulte -3.6%, Beazer Homes -3.3%, Lennar -3.1%.

Wall Street was pressured by a sudden rise in interest rates: +3 basis points on US T-Bonds (to 4.36% in the end), which flirted with 4.40%, a phenomenon that followed a six-month high for oil.

A new episode of tension between Israel and Iran pushed up oil prices and safe-haven stocks following strikes by Tsahal on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, which left several people dead (a first in history: no consulate has ever been targeted and destroyed, even in wartime).

On the statistics front, US industrial orders recovered by 1.4% in February (after -3.8% in January). U.S. industrial shipments were also up 1.4% on the previous month.

Markets will be paying close attention to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech this Wednesday on the economic outlook at a forum organized by Stanford University (California).

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