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Stock Market Today: S&P 500 ends lower as Fed minutes flag inflation jitters

Published 05/21/2024, 08:18 PM
Updated 05/22/2024, 04:03 PM
© Reuters

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 closed lower Wednesday, a day after notching a record high as investors digested the minutes from the Federal Reserve May meeting showing concerns about progress on inflation. 

At 16:00 ET (20:00 GMT), Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 201 points, or 0.5%, S&P 500 fell 0.3%, while NASDAQ Composite was 0.2% lower.

Fed minutes show inflation worries

Participants noted "recent data had not increased their confidence in progress toward 2 percent and, accordingly, had suggested that the disinflation process would likely take longer than previously thought," according to the Federal Reserve’s Apr. 30-May. 1 meeting released Wednesday.

The most recent inflation reading showing consumer inflation had slowed more than expected last month was released after the Fed's May meeting. Since the data, Fed members have welcomed the slower pace inflation, though continued to stress further data would needed. 

"I need to see a few more months of inflation data that looks like it is coming down," said Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester on Tuesday. Those comments echoed recent remarks from other Fed members including Boston Fed President Susan Collins and Fed Governor Christopher Waller. 

Nvidia flat ahead of earnings as Amazon denies halting chip orders

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) closed lower just ahead of its earnings release due after markets close even as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) denied an earlier Financial Times reported that it halted chip orders ahead of the chipmaker's release of new chips. 

The chipmaker is expected to report earnings of $5.58 a share on revenue of $24.53B for the quarter. 

Quarterly earnings continue

Target (NYSE:TGT) stock fell almost 8% after its latest quarterly earnings missed analysts expectations amid weak discretionary spending.

TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) rose over 3% after the TJ Maxx parent posted better-than-expected first-quarter results and raised its annual profit forecast,

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) stock dropped 7% after the athletic apparel retailer announced the departure of Chief Product Officer Sun Choe.

But the selloff is likely overdone, Wedbush said in Wednesday note, as "hypergrowth internationally can mitigate slower growth at home, while reduced discounting online could be a sign that U.S. trends are starting to stabilize."

Crude slips after surprise US inventories build; BHP slips after improved bid for Anglo American rejected

Crude prices fell Wednesday, retreating for the third straight session on U.S. interest rates jitters as well as an unexpected build in U.S. inventories.

Data from the Energy Information Agency showed Wednesday that U.S. oil inventories grew by 1.8 million barrels last week, confounding expectations for a 2.4M barrel decline. That raised some concerns over sluggish U.S. oil demand, with the upcoming Memorial Day holiday marking the traditional start of the travel-heavy summer season.

BHP Group Ltd ADR (NYSE:BHP), meanwhile, fell more than 4% after its improved 38.14 billion pound, or $49.87B, offer to takeover rival Anglo American (JO:AGLJ) was rejected. Anglo American did, however, say it would keep dialogue open with BHP and requested a one-week extension, signalling that a potential deal remains of interest.   

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

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