Stock indexes slip on Wall Street following 4 straight gains
The S&P 500 fell 0.6% after having been down nearly 1.1% at one point. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2%, almost all the way back to 0.7%. This was the indexes’ fifth lower close in five trading days. The composite Nasdaq, which is tech-heavy, fell 1.2%.
The Commerce Department released new data Wednesday showing that the U.S. economy grew at 6.9% annually between October and December. This was slower than previous estimates, but still better than economists expected.
The data, coming in the midst of a rebound for stocks the past two weeks, may have led investors to recoup some recent gains, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist, CFRA..
“The GDP numbers were weaker than we were expecting,” Stovall said. “It looks looks like we’re getting a soft patch in the first quarter.”
The S&P 500 fell 29. 15 points to 4,602.45. The Dow slid 65. 38 points to 35,228.81. The Nasdaq lost 177. 36 points to 14,442.27.
In a reverse of the day before, smaller stocks fell more than that of the broader market. The Russell 2000 index skidded 42. 03 points, or 2%, to 2,091.07.
Markets gained ground this week, as talks between Russia & Ukraine appeared to be moving forward and after encouraging data on consumer confidence.
Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine remain uncertain, however, and Russian shelling in areas where it had said it would pull back tempered optimism about prospects for a resolution to the conflict.
Technology stocks were among the biggest weights on the broader market. Many companies in this sector have high values, which can have a significant impact on the direction market indexes move. Chipmaker Nvidia fell 3.4%. Retailers also saw a decline. Home Depot fell 2.9%.
Oil price, which have been volatile ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb, gained ground. The benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 3.4%, while Brent crude, the international standard, rose 2.9%. With rising oil prices, energy stocks also gained ground. Phillips 66 rose 4.8%.
Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, slipped to 2. 35% from 2. 40% late Tuesday.
Bond yields are mostly rising this year, as Wall Street prepares to shift Federal Reserve policy. To combat persistently rising inflation, the central bank is raising benchmark interest rates with its counterparts around the world. Wall Street is also closely monitoring the bond market to get clues about the economy’s direction. On Tuesday, the yield for 10-year Treasury briefly dropped below the 2-year Treasury’s yield, what Wall Street calls an “inversion” of the Treasury yield curve. This is important for investors as it means that yield inversions can accurately predict previous U.S. recessions. The 2-year Treasury yield dropped to 2. 33% from 2. 35% late Tuesday.
Investors have several more economic updates to review this week. The Commerce Department will release Thursday’s personal income and expenditure report for February, while the Labor Department will release Friday’s employment report for March.
Wall Street will also be preparing for the next round of corporate report cards, as the quarter draws to a close. Numerous companies have already released financial updates and results.
Athletic apparel maker Lululemon jumped 9.6% after reporting encouraging financial results for its most recent quarter and giving a strong sales forecast. Online pet store Chewy slumped 16.1% after reporting a fiscal fourth-quarter loss that was steeper than analysts expected.
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