Key Takeaways

  • Major U.S. equities indexes were mixed on Friday, Feb. 17, with the Dow posting a small gain while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell.
  • The session closed out a week of heightened concerns about inflation.
  • For the week, index performance was also mixed, with the Nasdaq up 0.6% but the Dow and the S&P 500 in negative territory.

U.S. equities ended the day and the week mixed following several economic reports pointing to higher inflation. Along with the data, hawkish comments from some Fed officials added to concerns that the central bank will need to keep up its aggressive monetary tightening policy for some time. The Dow bounced back from early losses to end in positive territory, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined. For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 were negative, while the Nasdaq picked up 0.6%. 

Shares of companies that are sensitive to rising borrowing costs declined. Popular tech stocks, including Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL), Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), and Salesforce (CRM), sank. Home builder stocks tumbled, and shares of home improvement retailers Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) also lost ground. Shares of American Express (AXP), Visa (V), and rival credit card providers dropped.

Fossil fuel-related firms dominated the list of worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500 as interest rate worries sent oil futures almost 3% lower. However, the biggest loser in the index was Albemarle (ALB), with shares of the lithium producer plunging more than 9%. 

Safe Haven Plays

Shares of safe havens, such as Walmart (WMT), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG), and Campbell Soup (CPB), rose. Biotech stocks advanced, with shares of Amgen (AMGN), Biogen (BIIB), and Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO) climbing.

Deere & Co. (DE) shares took off as the farm, construction, and forestry equipment maker exceeded quarterly forecasts and boosted its full-year outlook. DraftKings (DKNG) also had better-than-expected results and raised its guidance, sending its shares soaring. 

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note gave up earlier gains and slipped. Gold prices were flat. The U.S. dollar was up versus the yen but lost ground to the euro and pound. The rally in major cryptocurrencies this week came to an end, with Bitcoin (BTC/USD), Ether (ETH/USD), and other digital coins trading lower.



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