May 28, 2024

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Stocks end mixed as Fed’s Powell warns on economy

3 min read

U.S. equity markets ended mixed on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the U.S. labor market remains fragile and as investors digested another batch of earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 62 points, or 0.2%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.03% and 0.25%, respectively.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 31437.8 +61.97 +0.20%
SP500 S&P 500 3909.88 -1.35 -0.03%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13972.533874 -35.16 -0.25%

A late day selloff came after Powell told the Economic Club of New York that the 6.3% unemployment rate is closer to 10% when counting the people who left the workforce due to the pandemic. The Fed chairman also said that risks to the economy remain to the downside.

Two bellwethers created headwinds for the overall market including General Motors Co. which topped estimates for both earnings and revenue but warned a chip shortage could reduce current year earnings by up to $2 billion.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GM GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY 54.88 -1.18 -2.10%
CSCO CISCO SYSTEMS INC. 47.24 -1.26 -2.60%

And Cisco Systems Inc. said its sales from its enterprise business, which accounts for roughly half of the company’s revenue, slumped 9% year over year as government agencies and corporations remained cautious in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Elsewhere, Twitter Inc. reported its number of daily users in the three months through December rose from 187 million to 192 million, but that was shy of the 193.5 million that analysts were anticipating. Both earnings and revenue were ahead of expectations.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TWTR TWITTER INC. 67.77 +7.90 +13.20%
KO COCA-COLA COMPANY 49.61 -0.07 -0.14%

Dow component Coca-Cola Co. reported net sales slumped 5% from a year ago, but cost-cutting helped its profit beat Wall Street expectations.

TIKTOK SALE TO ORACLE, WALMART IS PUT OFF AS BIDEN REVIEWS SECURITY

Oracle Inc. and Walmart Inc. were in focus after The Wall Street Journal reported their joint acquisition of TikTok, guided by the Trump administration, was on hold.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 144.13 -1.71 -1.17%
ORCL ORACLE CORPORATION 63.26 -0.42 -0.66%

In other news, Chevron Corp. said about 600 gallons of a mixture of water and oil spilled from its Richmond, California, facility. The leak, which has been contained, is under investigation.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 92.56 +1.62 +1.78%

Economic data was light with the consumer price index rising 0.3% month over month in January, in line with expectations. Prices were up 1.4% year over year.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 32 cents to $58.68 per barrel, an 11-month high, and gold ticked up $5.30 to $1,840.60 an ounce.

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European markets were weaker across the board with Germany’s DAX 30 falling 0.56%, France’s CAC 40 losing 0.36% and Britain’s FTSE 100 slipping 0.11%.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 1.43% in its final day of trading before its weeklong closure in observance of the Chinese New Year. Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 1.91% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 ticked up 0.19%.

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