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Wall Street ends down, but indexes briefly cut losses after Fed minutes

Stock Markets Aug 17, 2022 06:40PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 15, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
 
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By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday, with indexes volatile after minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting in July suggested policymakers may be less aggressive than previously thought when they raise interest rates in September.

Major indexes sharply cut their losses after the release of the minutes, with the Dow briefly turning positive, before they returned to earlier lower levels.

Weak results from Target (NYSE:TGT) weighed on the market for much of the session, along with megacap growth shares including Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). Amazon.com ended down 1.9%.

The Fed minutes also showed policymakers committed to raising rates as high as necessary to bring inflation under control.

The Fed has lifted its benchmark overnight interest rate by 225 points this year to a target range of 2.25% to 2.50%. After the release of the minutes, traders of futures tied to the Fed's policy rate saw a half-percentage-point rate hike as more likely in September.

"They stayed hawkish, but they also opened the door perhaps for a half of a percentage point hike in September as opposed to 75," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 171.69 points, or 0.5%, to 33,980.32, the S&P 500 lost 31.16 points, or 0.72%, to 4,274.04 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 164.43 points, or 1.25%, to 12,938.12.

Target shares ended down 2.7% after the retailer reported a 90% fall in quarterly earnings and missed comparable sales estimates. The S&P 500 retail index fell 1.2%.

The news followed upbeat results and outlooks from Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD) the day before.

After a brutal first-half of the year, stocks are up since the start of July. Upbeat corporate earnings have helped fuel a rebound, while investors have also been optimistic lately that the Fed can achieve a soft landing for the economy.

Home improvement chain Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) Cos Inc were up 0.6% after the company posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Early in the day, data showed U.S. retail sales were unexpectedly unchanged in July as falling gasoline prices weighed on receipts at service stations, but consumer spending appeared to pick up at the start of the third quarter.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.76 billion shares, compared with the 10.92 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 4.04-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.04-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 4 new 52-week highs and 29 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 36 new highs and 57 new lows.

Wall Street ends down, but indexes briefly cut losses after Fed minutes
 

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Comments (10)
Ian Just
Ian Just Aug 18, 2022 4:26AM ET
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FED doing great. Their purpose is to create balance and efficiency in the economy, so all useless tech, crypto, margins bubbles will continue to shrink until disappear . Really sorry for some investors but It's time money to flow in real economy and everyones to spent their money more efficiently.
Butch Einsel
Butch Einsel Aug 17, 2022 4:12PM ET
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wait weak months coming
Ian Just
Ian Just Aug 17, 2022 4:12PM ET
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Wait what?!? Next Quarters economy will continue to grow. I think these "Recession" matras don't work anymore. Try something else . Be more creative 🛫🛫🛫🛫
Parveen Tiwari
Parveen Tiwari Aug 17, 2022 3:35PM ET
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Just short and tell FED to increase it by 500 basis points next month
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Aug 17, 2022 3:16PM ET
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Just keep going long. They can never let this fail...
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Aug 17, 2022 3:13PM ET
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Everything is awesome!
soho electronics
soho electronics Aug 17, 2022 1:18PM ET
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markets recovering LETS GO !!!!
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Aug 17, 2022 1:10PM ET
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Wasn't it just a few days ago that growth stocks were responsible for the ongoing rally?
志彬 吳
志彬 吳 Aug 17, 2022 1:02PM ET
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I haven't seen 4% for a long time, a miracle happened!
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 17, 2022 12:56PM ET
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Just a matter of time before the FRAUD unfolded in the BIGGEST INVESTMENT JOKE IN THE WORLD.  Another miraculous intraday "recovery" underway.  The legalized financial defiling of America continues.
First Last
First Last Aug 17, 2022 12:56PM ET
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Given enough time almost anything & everything will happen.  But that's no way to trade/invest.
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 17, 2022 11:50AM ET
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How long will the loss last today in the laughingstock of the investing world?
me ish
me ish Aug 17, 2022 11:50AM ET
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Target 90% drop in quarterly earnings - the market is going to tank!!!
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Aug 17, 2022 11:50AM ET
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Mitchel, at some point in the near future, like it or not, seems like we should see a correction. They've pumped the DOW $3,000 over the past few weeks on nothing! I was going to wait until the end of next week, but I went ahead and shorted this morning.
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Aug 17, 2022 11:50AM ET
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Here comes the cavalry!!
First Last
First Last Aug 17, 2022 11:50AM ET
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Fed minutes in 1/2 hr
 
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