4/17/2024

Wall Street stocks fall after Powell’s speech

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Key points:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 0.21% and 0.12%, respectively.
  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have lost about 4% from their all-time highs over the past month.
  • The Fed Chairman announced that he does not expect to ease monetary policy soon due to inflation.

On April 16, trading on Wall Street was mostly down. Rising US Treasury yields have prompted investors to reassess the path of interest rates amid a robust economy and inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17% to 37,798.97. At the same time, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes showed declines of 0.21% and 0.12%, respectively, falling to 5,051.41 and 15,865.25 points.

It’s worth noting that the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices have lost about 4% from their all-time highs over the past month.

Fed Chairman Statement

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that recent inflation indicators do not provide grounds for a quick easing of monetary policy. He admitted that the US Central Bank may be forced to maintain high interest rates longer than previously planned.

This statement came after the publication of a report according to which retail sales showed higher-than-expected growth in March, indicating the resilience of the American economy. This factor helped push the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note to a five-month high.

Publication of the first quarterly reports

The rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average was supported by shares of UnitedHealth Group, which posted better-than-expected quarterly results. The real estate and utilities sectors, as expected, were the biggest drag on the S&P 500’s gains.

Morgan Stanley rose 2.5% after reporting first-quarter profit that beat forecasts, helped by renewed growth in investment banking revenue.

At the same time, Bank of America shares fell 3.5% as the lender recorded a decline in first-quarter profit amid increased provisions for possible loan losses.

Johnson & Johnson shares fell 2.1% as the drugmaker’s revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations, missing sales forecasts for its flagship psoriasis drug Stelara.

Tesla shares were down 2.7% on the day, after falling more than 5% the previous day. The fall continued following news that the electric vehicle maker plans to cut its global workforce by more than 10%.

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