September 30, 2022

Enterprise JM

Do the Business

Stocks Close Higher After Tech-Led Selloff

U.S. stocks edged higher in choppy trading Wednesday, clawing back some of their losses after selling off sharply a day earlier.

It was a day of fluctuations, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting session highs in the early afternoon before paring their gains into the close. The Dow industrials ranged about 588 points between their high and low of the day.

The S&P 500 gained 8.76 points, or 0.2%, to close at 4183.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.75 points, or 0.2%, to 33301.93. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 1.81 points, or less than 0.1%, to 12488.93.

Investors said they saw the moves higher as a temporary relief rally after Tuesday’s selloff, when the Nasdaq recorded its largest one-day percentage decline since September 2020 and the Dow dropped more than 800 points. Analysts and money managers have been digesting earnings reports and weighing concerns about inflation, the prospect of rapid policy tightening by the Federal Reserve and the spread of Covid-19 in China.

“Stocks have been so weak so far this month I believe investors are seeing some value in the current pricing,” said

Tracie McMillion,

head of global asset allocation strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

Major U.S. stock indexes remain down substantially for the year, with the S&P 500 down 12% and the Nasdaq Composite down 20%. On Tuesday, the Nasdaq closed at its lowest level since December 2020, wiping out the gains it notched in 2021.

The market is in the thick of corporate earnings season. Analysts expect that profits from companies in the S&P 500 grew 7.5% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to FactSet.

Seema Shah,

chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, said she sees the next moves in the stock market as either sideways or down. 

Earnings are “supporting the market to some extent, but I don’t think it’s enough to support it higher,” Ms. Shah said. She said her team has moved to a neutral recommendation on their overall equity positions. 

“The risks are just piling up,” she said. “We don’t want to be picking up pennies in front of the steamroller.”

Many big companies are reporting earnings this week. Shares of Facebook parent

Meta Platforms

rose 19% in after-hours trading after the company beat earnings expectations.

Twitter,

which this week agreed to sell itself for $44 billion to Elon Musk, is set to report Thursday.

About 80% of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far have surpassed analysts’ estimates, FactSet data show. Still,

Emily Roland,

co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management, said investors remain focused on a number of wide-ranging issues weighing on markets.

“Markets are mostly focused on some of the macro concerns around aggressive tighter Fed policy, as well as this global growth scare that’s playing out,” she said.

Many of those concerns have driven the dollar to its highest level in more than two years. The dollar tends to strengthen when the global economy sours and when investors expect U.S. growth to outpace the rest of the world. Rising interest rates in the U.S. also typically benefit the greenback as higher rates attract yield-seeking investors to the currency. 

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the currency against a basket of others, rose 0.5% to 95.19, its highest closing value since March 2020. It has risen in 18 of the past 20 trading days.

In the bond market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.817% on Wednesday from 2.773% on Tuesday. Recently, investors have sold bonds in anticipation of higher interest rates, and the yield on the benchmark note remains close to its highest level since 2018. Bond yields and prices move inversely.

Natural-gas prices in Europe rose 4.1% after Russia said it would halt gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to pay on Moscow’s new terms. Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, rose 0.3% to $105.32 a barrel. 

Among individual stocks,

Tesla

shares added $5.09, or 0.6%, to $881.51, recouping some of their losses after tumbling 12% Tuesday, their biggest one-day drop in more than a year. Twitter fell $1.04, or 2.1%, to $48.64, about 10% below the $54.20 per-share-price that

Elon Musk

and Twitter agreed to in their deal to take the company private.

Boeing

shares lost $12.58, or 7.5%, to $154.46. The company posted a $1.24 billion quarterly loss and again pushed back the expected first delivery of its new 777X twin-aisle jet.

Microsoft

jumped $13.00, or 4.8%, to $283.22 after the company on Tuesday reported higher revenue and profit last quarter as demand for its cloud services and software continued to climb. Shares of Google parent

Alphabet

fell $87.11, or 3.7%, to $2,285.89 after the technology behemoth posted slower sales growth amid disruptions in digital advertising spending.

On Tuesday, the Nasdaq Composite recorded its largest one-day percentage decline since September 2020, while the Dow dropped more than 800 points.



Photo:

Michael Nagle/Zuma Press

Chipotle Mexican Grill

shares added $37.42, or 2.6%, to $1,475.63 after the burrito chain said total revenue increased 16% last quarter amid higher food, beverage and packaging costs—which the company said was partially offset by menu-price increases. 

Lucid Group

shares gained 43 cents, or 2.4%, to $18.07 after the company late Tuesday said the government of Saudi Arabia had agreed to purchase up to 100,000 vehicles over a 10-year period. 

Robinhood Markets

shares fell 49 cents, or 4.9%, to $9.51 after the online brokerage said it was laying off 9% of its full-time employees. The company is set to report earnings Thursday.

European stocks rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 closing up 0.7%. Major markets in Asia were mixed, with benchmarks in Japan and South Korea falling more than 1% and Chinese indexes gaining.

The CSI 300 index of the largest stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 2.9%, recouping some of its recent losses. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.1%.

The rebound came after China on Tuesday reported its lowest tally of Covid-19 cases in three weeks, and President

Xi Jinping

highlighted the importance of infrastructure for economic growth, singling out transport, energy and water conservation. Machinery and building-materials stocks jumped.

Write to Caitlin McCabe at [email protected], Karen Langley at [email protected] and Dave Sebastian at [email protected] 

How the Biggest Companies Are Performing

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8