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Stock market today: Dow stumbles as surging U.S. yields keep stocks in firing line

Published 08/17/2023, 04:17 PM
© Reuters.

Investing.com -- The Dow closed lower Thursday, pressured by a slide in Walmart and an ongoing surge in Treasury yields as fears grow that rate hikes will make a comeback later this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8%, or 290 points, Nasdaq fell 1.2%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.8%.

Treasury yields continue to melt-up as fed fears strike again

Treasury yields were in rally mode, with the 10-year Treasury yield threatening to make a dash for 16-year highs as investors digest the prospect of the Fed lifting rates again later this year.

The minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, released Wednesday, showing members leaning hawkish continued to reverberate through markets, with some expecting Fed chair Jerome Powell to deliver similar remarks at the Jackson Hole symposium next week.

“The backdrop for the speech will still be a Chair who may see glimmers of hope in the recent CPI data but remains concerned over restoring price stability,” UBS said.

“In other words, the FOMC is not out of the inflation woods yet, similar to the tone in the July FOMC meeting minutes,” it added.

Walmart slips despite delivering beat and raise on earnings stage

Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) fell nearly 2% despite lifting its annual guidance following second-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates, driven by strong grocery and e-commerce performance.

The supermarket’s giant’s grocery business was up high single digits in the quarter, noting market share gains and growth in private label.

Concerns about the strength of the consumer have weighed on retailers, but Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said further pain for consumers could bolster demand for lower priced items, boosting top-line growth.

Cisco shines, but bears claw Wolfspeed after wider loss

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), meanwhile, rose more than 3%, underpinned by better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results as the computer network company took market share and boosted margins.

“Gross margins were better-than-expected, driven by previous pricing actions & should remain strong on cost discipline & business mix towards more software revenue,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Wolfspeed (NYSE:WOLF), meanwhile, fell 17% after reporting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and downbeat annual guidance.

CVS Health nosedives after Blue Shield severs ties

CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) fell more than 8% after Blue Shield of California said it would no longer use the company’s Caremark unit as its pharmacy benefit manager, opting instead to partner with several companies including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

The slump in CVS piled on losses of more than 20% year to date as the pharmacy giant has come under pressure as a result of competition from low-cost pharmaceutical companies including Amazon Pharmacy.

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