Key Takeaways

  • Major U.S. equities indexes plunged lower on Feb. 21, 2023, starting the shortened trading week on a down note.
  • The Nasdaq tumbled 2.5% during Tuesday’s session, while the S&P 500 and the Dow fell around 2%.
  • Concerns that the Federal Reserve would remain aggressive with interest rate hikes and warnings from major retailers contributed to the market declines.

U.S. equities plunged on fears the Fed might have to keep raising interest rates to fight inflation as major retailers warned that higher prices are impacting consumer behavior. The Dow and S&P 500 lost 2%, and the Nasdaq dipped 2.5%.

Every stock in the Dow except Walmart (WMT) was in the red. The average was pulled lower by Home Depot (HD), as shares sank 7% after the home improvement retailer’s sales and outlook were short of forecasts. Shares of rival Lowe’s (LOW) and other big retailers, such as Nike (NKE), Target (TGT), and Macy’s (M), were down as well. Even though shares rose on its financial report, Walmart added to the negative sentiment with its lower-than-expected earnings guidance.

Bond yields soared, with the rate on the 10-year Treasury note reaching its highest level since November. That sent shares of companies sensitive to rising borrowing costs tumbling. Tech stocks slumped, with shares of Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Salesforce (CRM) declining 2%. Intel (INTC) and Tesla (TSLA) shares fell 5%. Shares of home builders, banks, and credit card providers dropped.

Nordson (NDSN) shares plummeted 14% as the adhesive dispenser maker’s profit and sales missed estimates, and it cut its outlook. Expeditors International of Washington (EXPD) also came up short on earnings and revenue, and its shares were lower.

General Mills Raises Outlook

General Mills (GIS) shares moved higher after the producer of cereal and other foods increased its full-year earnings and revenue forecast. Kellogg (K) shares were up, too. Molson Coors (TAP) profit was better than expected, lifting shares of the brewer. Copper futures jumped, helping boost shares of Freeport-McMoran (FCX). 

Oil and gold prices declined. The U.S. dollar gained on the euro and yen but slipped against the pound. Major cryptocurrencies traded in negative territory.



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