DJIA: 34,715.39, down 313.26
S&P 500: 4,482.73, down 50.03
Nasdaq: 14,154.02, down 186.23
Stocks turn lower; yields steady
U.S. stocks finished firmly lower on Thursday as an attempt at a relief rally once again faded into the close. The S&P 500 erased a gain of 1.5% to end 1.1% lower, while the Dow fell 313 points, extending its losing streak to five days. The Nasdaq Composite wiped out an early session advance of 2% to close down 1.3%, now 11.9% from its most recent November 19 record. The tech-heavy index is positioned for its worst month since March 2020 (-9.5% month-to-date) as concerns over tighter monetary policy in light of persistent inflation have sparked a rout in growth-related names. Treasuries continued to stabilize, however, with the yield on the 10-year note down two basis points (0.02%) to 1.82%. In commodities, a rally in oil prices stalled, with West Texas Intermediate crude dipping 0.1% to $86.90/barrel after the first buildup in domestic stockpiles in eight weeks.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in negative territory, with the Consumer Discretionary group leading the downturn. Technology shares also lagged amid weakness in chipmakers. In earnings, Travelers Companies jumped 3.2% as the insurer’s profit tally dwarfed analyst estimates to hit a record. In other corporate news, Peloton Interactive, Inc. sank nearly 24% on reports the company was pausing production of its bikes and treadmills due to a “significant reduction” in demand.
Also dampening the mood was mixed economic data. Weekly initial jobless claims increased to a three-week high of 286,000. Meanwhile, existing home sales fell 4.6% in December as supply hit an all-time low. Separately, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook improved more than projected this month.
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