Rate-Hike Jitters Send Stocks Spiraling

Stocks fell after Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony

Feb 27, 2018 at 4:27 PM
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All eyes were on Fed Chair Jerome Powell today for his first congressional testimony, and stocks tumbled as a result. Powell sparked a risk-off approach from investors by suggesting the central bank could raise interest rates more than three times this year, if necessary. He also said recent economic data gives him more confidence inflation will increase going forward. This resulted in rising bond yields and a stronger dollar, while the VIX also popped. As such, the Nasdaq, S&P 500 Index, and Dow all gave up early gains to land well below breakeven, with the latter two indexes snapping three-session win streaks.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,410.03) grinded lower throughout the day, falling 299.24 points, or 1.2%. Only two blue chips closed with gains, with Intel (INTC) adding 1.6% -- and briefly topping the $50 level. Disney (DIS) stock, meanwhile, fell 4.5% to pace the 28 losers.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,744.28) fell 35.3 points, or 1.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,330.35) shed 91.1 points, or 1.2%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX -18.59) jumped 2.8 points, or 17.7%.

Closing Indexes Summary Feb 27

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Feb 27

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. President Donald Trump is wasting little time gearing up for his 2020 re-election bid, today announcing Brad Parscale as his campaign manager. Parscale served as digital director during Trump's 2016 run, and is often credited as a key reason for his election win. (CNBC)
  2. Ford is partnering with companies in Florida's Miami-Dade County to test self-driving vehicles. The automaker is working with Domino's Pizza, Lyft, and Postmates, and more services are expected to be added over time. (Fox News)
  3. Digging into this month's big tech pullback.
  4. How a February pullback could actually be good for stocks.
  5. 2 retail stocks to watch before earnings.


Corporate Earnings Feb 27

Unusual Options Activity Feb 27

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Prices Slide Ahead of Inventory Data

Oil prices fell for the first time in four sessions today. By the close, April-dated crude futures were down 90 cents, or 1.4%, at $63.01 per barrel.

Gold fell today amid Powell's testimony, as the dollar strengthened. Gold for April delivery lost $14.20, or 1.1%, to land at $1,318.60 per ounce.


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