The Nasdaq Composite Index rose less than 0.1% to 7,012. It touched its highest intraday since March 21 at 15,589.20. The Brent oil price fell by 0.96% to 73.99 United States dollars per barrel. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 11 cents to $74.82 per barrel in London.
Since the global financial crisis in 2008-09, a combination of low inflation expectations and a bond-buying program by the Federal Reserve have helped keep bond yields low, but they have climbed this year as inflation has picked up.
Eight of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent to 22,206.51 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.8 percent to 30,378.89.
Australia reports quarterly import prices.
The S&P 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,680. The telecommunications gear maker says it is selling itself to an investor group led by Searchlight Capital Partners for about $2-billion. Alphabet, Google's parent company, is one of the biggest losers after it reported greater revenue but also an increase in spending.
But the industrial giant's shares sunk later in the day, sparking a mass sell-off throughout the stock market, after Caterpillar Chief Financial Officer Brad Halverson said the company's first-quarter profit "will be the high-water mark for the year" because of expected increases in investment later in 2018.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 124 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,313.
"It makes borrowing costs more expensive for corporations".
"The markets are reacting to yields moving higher", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in NY.
Higher bond yields could also prompt portfolio managers to weigh moving money into more attractive fixed-income securities at the expense of equities.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury, a benchmark for interest rates on many kinds of loans including mortgages, hit 3 percent for the first time since January 2014, reflecting higher expectations for inflation and economic growth. Meanwhile, the Alphabet stocks fell by more than 4.5%.
Industrial bellwether Caterpillar tumbled per cent on fears of increasing steel prices, despite the company's beating earnings estimates due to strong global demand. Silver climbed 0.7 percent to $16.70 an ounce. "That's not happening", Nolte said.
Facebook, Twitter, AT&T and Boeing report quarterly earnings.
THE QUOTE: "U.S. markets were rocked by both bond yields and corporate concerns overnight, seeing only few defensive sectors thriving on the comprehensive S&P 500 index". Analysts estimate 21.1 per cent growth in earnings for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data. US consumer confidence rose to 128.7 in April from 127 in March.
Oil topped $75 a barrel before plunging more than 2.5%.
Facebook fell 3.5 percent to $160.10 and Microsoft skidded 1.8 percent to $93.65.
The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and 21 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 61 new highs and 90 new lows.