Stocks Extend Losses

U.S. stocks eased Wednesday as oil prices rose, renewing inflation fears.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 410 points, or 1.2%. The S&P 500 declined 1%. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.9%.

Traders digested the latest news on the Ukraine-Russia war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for more pressure on Russia from other countries as the conflict appears to be entering a stalemate.

Oil prices ticked higher on the day, with international oil benchmark Brent crude advancing nearly 5% to top $120 per barrel. U.S. crude gained around 4% to more than $114 per barrel.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield surpassed 2.41% at its session high Wednesday, the highest since May 2019. The benchmark rate has surged since the beginning of the week, when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell vowed to be aggressive on inflation. The Fed last week raised interest rates for the first time since 2018.

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Stocks Fall As Oil Prices Rise

WEDNESDAY – U.S. stocks dipped in early morning trading on Wednesday as oil prices gained, renewing inflation fears.

Traders digested the latest news on the Ukraine-Russia war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for more pressure on Russia from other countries as the conflict appears to be entering a stalemate.

Oil prices ticked higher on the day, with U.S. crude gaining about 3% to more than $112 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, advanced about 3% to roughly $119.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield topped 2.41% at its session high Wednesday, the highest since May 2019.

Wall Street is coming off a strong session Tuesday in which the Dow jumped more than 250 points and the S&P 500 climbed 1.1%.

Federal Reserve Chair Powell on Monday promised aggressive action on inflation. The comments came after the Fed last week raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 and forecast a plan to hike rates by a quarter-point at each of the remaining six meetings of 2022.


Stocks Drop Again To Start Week

U.S. equities fell Monday morning, but traded off their lows, as U.S. oil prices pulled back from their highest level since 2008 amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, traded 6.3% higher to $122.96 per barrel, earlier hitting $130 per barrel at one point before pulling back partially. The international benchmark, Brent crude, traded 6.24% higher to $125.51 per barrel after earlier spiking to $139.13 per barrel — its highest since July 2008.

Gas prices surged to their highest level since 2008, with the national average hitting $4.06 a gallon, according to AAA.

Despite the move away from risk, government bond yields rose, indicating less demand for safe-haven assets. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was most recently at 1.76%, up nearly 4 basis points on the session as inflation worries pushed yields up.

Positive data from the U.S. Labor Department wasn’t enough for investors to shrug off concerns about the war between Russia and Ukraine. On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy added 678,000 jobs in February. The monthly jobs gain topped economists’ expectations of 440,000 as gauged by Dow Jones. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.8%.

Last, the Dow and S&P 500 slid about 1.3%. The Dow notched its fourth losing week and the S&P 500 closed in correction territory on Friday, down more than 10% from its record close. The Nasdaq Composite lost roughly 2.8% and is also in a technical correction.

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Stocks Lower With Eyes On Ukraine

THURSDAY – Stocks dipped in early morning trading Thursday but were off their lows as strong earnings from Walmart helped boost sentiment.

In early earnings action, Walmart topped expectations and reaffirmed guidance, sending shares up 1.7% in premarket trading and helping to stem losses for futures.

On the economic front, weekly jobless claims numbers came in at 248,000, rising from the previous week and above the 218,000 expected, according to a Dow Jones estimate. Housing permits for January showed a surprise increase, but housing starts lagged expectations.

The S&P 500 in Wednesday’s regular trading session closed little changed, while the Dow shed nearly 55 points and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.1%.

The major stock averages came off their lows Wednesday after the release of minutes from the Fed’s January meeting.

The meeting summary showed the Fed is prepared to hike interest rates and reduce its balance sheet soon, as investors had already expected.


Stocks Jump On Easing Tensions

TUESDAY – U.S. stocks jumped on Tuesday after Russia appeared to be backing away from an immediate invasion of Ukraine, cooling geopolitical tensions that have knocked the stock market down the last three days.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it had begun returning some troops to deployment bases after training exercises near the Ukrainian border.

WTI crude prices fell 3%, while the 10-year Treasury yield jumped to 2.04% as tensions eased. The VanEck Russia ETF, a U.S.-traded fund which invests in big Russian stocks, jumped nearly 5% in premarket trading.

In addition to the Ukraine drama, investors will get another look at inflation Tuesday. The January producer price index, which measures final-demand wholesale prices, will be released at 8:30 and is expected to show a monthly gain of 0.5%.

Wall Street is coming off a volatile Monday trading session.

The Dow closed lower by 171.89 points, or 0.5%, after falling more than 400 points at one point. The S&P 500 dropped as much as 1.2% before ending the day 0.4% lower. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.9% at one point before closing just below the flatline.

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Stocks Rise Ahead of Earnings

U.S. stock futures rose in early morning trading on Wednesday as investors digested another batch of corporate earnings and tech shares looked to build on their rebound.

Through Tuesday’s close, the Nasdaq Composite has gained more than 6% from its recent low on Jan. 27 after falling into correction territory earlier this year.

Mortgage applications dropped 10% week over week, however, as the rise in interest rates in recent months appears to have dampened demand among homebuyers.

Yields have risen this year in part because of a more aggressive stance from the Federal Reserve. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told CNBC on Wednesday that three rate hikes are possible this year but that the central bank is not locked in to any path and will watch how the economy responds.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 370 points, helped by a 7.8% pop in Amgen on the back of its strong earnings report. The S&P 500 also registered a gain, climbing 0.8%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite rose 1.3%.

As of the closing bell on Tuesday, nearly 60% of all S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings and roughly 77% have topped Wall Street’s earnings estimates, according to FactSet.

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Stocks Rise After Nasdaq Hits Correction Territory

U.S. stocks posted solid gains Thursday morning, with Nasdaq up nearly 1% the day after dipping into correction territory.

Stocks held their ground even as government bond yields again edged higher, part of a market repricing as the Federal Reserve gets set to tighten monetary policy.

The central bank meets next week, with markets indicating just a slight chance of action on interest rates. However, traders have fully priced in the first of what is expected to be four 0.25 percentage point hikes through 2022.

The two-year Treasury, which is most closely tied to Fed rate policy, most recently yielded about 1.04%, while the benchmark 10-year note was at 1.84%.

Markets were looking ahead to more earnings reports as well as the weekly update on initial jobless claims and existing home sales.

On the economy, the Dow Jones estimate for claims in the week ended Jan. 15 is 225,000, slightly less than the 230,000 from the previous period. Home sales for December are expected to total 6.48 million, a modest 0.3% increase from November, which had posted a gain of 1.9%.

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Stocks Jump After Trump Tweet

THURSDAY – Stocks jumped in early trading Thursday after President Donald Trump said China and the U.S. were zeroing in on a trade deal, lifting hope that an agreement will be reached before a key deadline.

The S&P 500 hit a record high, rising 0.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 250 points higher, or 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.8%.

Trump said in a tweet both sides were getting “VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!”

His tweet comes after Reuters reported that Trump was meeting with his top trade officials on Thursday ahead of a Sunday trade deadline. If an agreement is not reached by then, additional U.S. levies on Chinese products will take effect.

Stocks started December on the wrong foot as worries around U.S.-China trade relations increased. In the first two sessions of the month, the Dow lost more than 500 points.

Still, the major averages are up sharply for the year. The S&P 500 and Dow have jumped 25.3% and 19.7%, respectively, year to date. The Nasdaq is up around 30%.


Disappointing Manufacturing Data Drops Stocks

MONDAY – Stocks dropped on Monday, the first trading day of December, as investors digested disappointing economic data along with the latest trade news after capping a month that featured blistering gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 251 points, or 0.9%. The S&P 500 pulled back 0.9% while the Nasdaq Composite traded 1.4% lower. The major averages started off the session with slight gains before turning lower.

Shares of Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Apple all dropped more than 1%. Netflix traded 2.7% lower. Roku, which has been one of the hottest stocks of 2019, plummeted more than 15%.

The Cboe Volatility Index, which is regarded as the best fear gauge in the market, rose to 14.8 from 12.6.

Monday’s losses came after a strong performance in November. The major averages had their biggest monthly gains since June, rallying to record highs. The S&P 500 climbed 3.4% last month while the Dow advanced 3.7%. The Nasdaq rallied 4.5%.

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. continued to contract last month, the Institute for Supply Management said. The ISM Manufacturing PMI dipped to 48.1 in November. That’s below an estimate of 49.4. Stocks hit their session lows after the data was released.


Brexit & Trade Worried Hamper Stocks

WEDNESDAY – U.S. stocks were lower Wednesday as worries over U.S.-China trade relations dampened sentiment around a record-setting rally.

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing former Trump administration officials, that the ongoing trade talks could hit an impasse that would derail a so-called “phase one” trade deal. Uncertainty around trade also grew after the Senate passed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters. This led China to accuse the U.S. of interfering in domestic affairs.

The Dow pulled back from record highs on Tuesday amid losses from Boeing and Home Depot while investors monitored earnings and developments in the U.S.-China trade talks. There is lingering uncertainty among investors about the possibility of a deal between both countries, despite comments last month suggesting they were close to signing a partial agreement.

Elsewhere, investors are awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting at 2 p.m. The U.S. central bank decided to lower the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% late last month.

In corporate news, Target shares jumped more than 8% in the premarket after the retailer posted quarterly results that easily beat expectations. Target also raised its full-year profit outlook.

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