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Stock Market Today: S&P 500 closes lower as Nvidia leads tech stumble

Published 17/04/2024, 00:54
© Reuters

Investing.com - The S&P 500 closed lower Wednesday, pressured by an Nvidia-led slide in tech just as fears of higher-for-longer Federal Reserve interest rates persist. 

At 16:00 ET (20:00 GMT), Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 45 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 fell 0.6% and NASDAQ Composite fell 1.2%.

Nvidia leads chips, tech lower

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) fell almost 4% to add pressure on the broader tech sector just as other big tech stocks including Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Meta (NASDAQ:META) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) were also under pressure. 

ASML (NASDAQ:ASML), meanwhile, weighed on chip stocks after falling over 7% following quarterly results that showed weaker than expected first-quarter new bookings.

Sentiment on the growth sector of the market including tech has soured following an ongoing climb in Treasury yields on fears that higher for longer rates are likely to persist. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday "was clear, the Fed intends to stay on the sidelines for longer than previously expected, given the unexpected increase in recent inflation data," Stifel said in a Wednesday note. 

Quarterly earnings season continues 

The main indices have bounced Wednesday after recent losses, with investors focusing on the ongoing earnings season.

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) stock rose 17% after the carrier forecast stronger-than-expected earnings in the current quarter, as well as reporting a narrower-than-expected loss in the first quarter, on robust demand for travel.

On the flip side, Travelers (NYSE:TRV) stock fell more than 7% after the insurer announced a sharp rise in catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance, up to $712 million from $535 million a year earlier, due to severe wind and hail storms in the central and eastern regions of the United States.

JB Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) stock fell 8% after the trucking firm missed estimates for first-quarter results, hurt by a decline in revenue in its biggest segment and pricing pressures at its brokerage business.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) fell 3% despite the medical devices maker beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and raised the lower end of its full-year forecast on strong sales of its products.

Crude falls after rise in US inventories 

Crude prices retreated 3% Wednesday as a rise in U.S. commercial stockpiles created concerns about future demand.

The official U.S. inventory data, from the Energy Information Administration, showed weekly crude stockpiles rose by 2.7M, well above the 1.6M economists had forecast. 

Oil prices soared last week to the highest levels since October, as the prospect of a bigger conflict in the Middle East, especially between Iran and Israel, sparked bets of supply disruptions in the region. 

(Peter Nurse, Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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