Stocks Plunge Following Fed Chair Powell's Comments

The Nasdaq breached its year-to-date breakeven level today

Assistant Editor
Mar 4, 2021 at 4:28 PM
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Stocks finished Thursday sharply lower, after investors reacted not so favorably to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments regarding bond yields and inflation expectations. Most notably, Powell noted that the economic reopening could "create some upward pressure on prices," and said the central bank must remain "patient" before changing policy in response to rising inflation.

As a result, the Dow shed 346 points, but was down over 700 points at its session lows. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both finished the session lower for their third-straight loss, with the latter breaching its year-to-date breakeven level. Against this backdrop, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) logged its third-straight win and touched its highest level since Feb. 1.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Market Strategist Chris Prybal tackles one technical indicator from two different sides.
  • General Electric stock picked up a lofty bull note. 
  • Plus, more on Amazon.com's NFL ambitions; options bears blasting SNOW; and a fitness stock hit with a bear note.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 30,924.14) fell 346 points, or 1.1% for the day. Chevron (CVX) topped the short list of winners, rising 0.8%, while Intel (INTC) fell to the bottom of the blue-chip after losing 2.6%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,768.47) lost 51.3 points, or 1.3% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 12,723.47) shed 274.3 points, or 2.1% for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 28.57) rose 1.9 point, or 7.2% for the day.

Closing Summary 0304

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  1. Apple is under fire, after the U.K.'s competition regulator announced an antitrust investigation is being opened against the tech behemoth. (CNBC)
  2. Tesla, Nio, and the electric-vehicle sector as a whole has sold off recently, but these analysts say they're only scratching the surface of addressable demand. (MarketWatch)
  3. Amazon.com is eyeing a $1 billion streaming deal with the NFL.
  4. Analysts and options traders blasted Snowflake stock today.
  5. Planet Fitness stock flopped following a bear note.

Earnings 0304

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Gold Price Remain Near Nine-Month Lows

Oil prices rose again today, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) assured that production will be steady through April. Meanwhile, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said it would extend its voluntary one million barrels per day production cut into April, as well. As a result, April-dated crude added $2.55, or 4.2%, to settle at $63.83 per barrel.

Gold prices, meanwhile, weighed down by rising U.S. Treasury yields and a strengthening U.S. dollar. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments about the bond market also took their toll on bullion. In response, April-dated gold shed $15.10, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,700.70 an ounce.

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