Wednesday, February 16, 2022

DJIA: 34,934.27, down 54.57
S&P 500: 4,475.01, up 3.94
Nasdaq: 14,124.09, down 15.67

S&P 500 turns higher after Fed minutes

U.S. equities trimmed early session losses on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s January meeting minutes offered no new information. The release set the stage for a March rate hike, with a lack of hawkish surprise buoying risk sentiment. The Dow shed 54 points, paring a more than 300-point drop. The S&P 500 turned 0.1% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.1%. Treasuries strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year note down three basis points (0.03%) to 2.02%. The yield on the more Fed-sensitive two-year note declined six basis points (0.06%) to 1.51%, while a gauge of the U.S. dollar fell 0.2%. On the data front, retail sales climbed a better-than-expected 3.8% in January, the most in 10 months, rebounding from the prior 2.5% decline.

Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in positive territory, with growth-related groups lagging. In earnings, ViacomCBS Inc. slid 18.4% following a disappointing profit tally. The multimedia company also announced it would change its corporate name to Paramount Global to highlight its streaming service. Meanwhile, Generac Holdings Inc. jumped 14.2% after the generator maker delivered a top and bottom line beat and forecasted strong growth in 2022. Elsewhere, Kraft Heinz Co. gained 5.6% on better-than-expected results, with product price increases helping offset higher input costs.

Investors also monitored geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine. High-level diplomacy talks between Russia and Western leaders are reportedly ongoing, but claims from Russia that some military units had returned to their bases remained under scrutiny. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 1.2% to $90.95/barrel after data showed an unexpected weekly buildup in domestic stockpiles.

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