Dow falls 300 points as rally fizzles, Fed minutes ahead - CNBC

1 month ago 27

This key indicator with a perfect track record means stocks haven't bottomed yet

According to the Rule of 20 - one of Bank of America's key indicators to spot a market bottom - stocks still have further to fall.

The Rule of 20 measures the price to earnings ratio and consumer price index, and has a perfect track record of spotting the bottom in stocks. Currently, the rule is above 20, which means the upward momentum in stocks is likely a bear market rally instead of a sprint to a new bull cycle.

Read more at CNBC PRO.

—Carmen Reinicke

Bond yields sharply higher as market worries about inflation and fears Fed minutes will be hawkish

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was sharply higher Wednesday on concerns about inflation and a hawkish Federal Reserve.

Strategists say U.K. inflation data and strong U.S. retail sales were catalysts for yields, as investors worried the Fed could be more aggressive with its rate hiking.

"Particularly today, with the minutes looming, that's the concern," said Michael Schumacher of Wells Fargo. "The Fed minutes could be hawkish." The Fed releases minutes of its last meeting at 2 p.m. ET.

The 10-year was at 2.89% late Wednesday morning, up from 2.80% at the end of Tuesday's trading. The yield, which moves opposite price, was higher early in the day, on a report that U.K. inflation was running at 10.1%, a 40-year high.

Then U.S. retail sales, released at 8:30 a.m. ET, pushed the yield even higher. On the headline, retail sales were flat for July, but excluding autos and gas, sales rose a higher-than-expected 0.7%.

The minutes are from the July 26 and 27 meeting, where the Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise the fed funds target rate by another three-quarters of a point.

The 2-year yield, which most reflects Fed policy, was at 3.33%, about 10 basis points from its intraday low.

--Patti Domm

Oil reverses losses, turns positive after inventory report

Oil prices moved higher after the latest inventory report, which showed a larger-than-expected draw. The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that stockpiles in the prior week declined by 7.1 million barrels. Analysts had been expecting a draw of 250,000 barrels, according to estimates from FactSet.

West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. oil benchmark, added 50 cents to trade at $87.03 per barrel. Earlier in the session the contract fell to its lowest level in more than six months. International benchmark Brent crude was at $92.69 for a gain of 0.4%.

Natural gas retreated more than 1% to $9.21 per million British thermal units. The decline comes after a monster run for the commodity, which is up more than 30% in the last month and hovering around multi-year highs.

"Over the past few weeks the intense power burn coupled with very low injection into gas storage has led to a situation where domestic US gas supplies are very tight," said Campbell Faulkner, senior vice president and chief data analyst at OTC Global Holdings.

"Further, as the weather cools slackening power demand/gas burn, natural gas will still be diverted from storage into LNG trains for European and Asian exports," he added.

— Pippa Stevens

Analog Devices sinks 5% on bookings warning, chip stocks slide

Travel stocks slump, Carnival falls 5%

Travel stocks fell on Wednesday, dragging the S&P 500's consumer discretionary sector down nearly 2%.

Cruise stocks led the tumble, with shares of Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean down about 5% each. Hotel and casino stocks including Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts and Marriott slid 3.8%, 2.5% and 2.1%, respectively.

— Samantha Subin

Tech shares slide

Tech shares slumped on Wednesday. Share of Alphabet and Tesla fell more than 1% each, while Netflix, Amazon and Meta Platforms slumped by more than 2%.

Several S&P 500 sectors also showed signs of weakness as tech shares slipped. Consumer discretionary, information technology and communications services each fell more than 1%. Materials also fell 1%, dragged down by names like Freeport-McMoRan and PPG Industries.

— Samantha Subin

S&P 500 failed first test of key chart level, could signal some near-term weakness

Traders on the floor of the NYSE, Aug. 16, 2022.

Source: NYSE

The S&P 500 fell back after testing its 200-day moving average Tuesday, signaling the index may have set a possible short-term top.

The S&P reached a high of 4,325 Tuesday, before backing off. The 200-day moving average was just a point above that level at the time, and it was at 4,324 in Wednesday trading. The S&P 500 was down 0.7% at 4,272 just before 10:30 a.m. ET.

"It's pretty typical of the first attempt at a 200-day," said BTIG's Jonathan Krinsky. "When a 200-day is declining and you're rallying from the underside, it's a pretty typical to fail the first time. That doesn't tell us much...The confirmation lower today is suggestive of further declines. We're due for a pullback. 4,177 to 4,200 is now key support."

The 200-day is simply the average of the last 200 closes of a stock or an index. Traders watch it as a momentum indicator. A close above it can signal a move higher, and when an index breaks below it, it could be in for a more prolonged downtrend.

"Typically you get rejected there. If you were to get back there again, it has better success," said Scott Redler, partner with T3Live.com. "It doesn't mean we have to get back there again. Within the last week, there's been a lot of meme-type trading, lots of things got overbought. It felt more forced than sustainable. At this point, there's a 70% chance yesterday's high is the August top."

But if the index should take another run at the 200-day and close above that level, traders would take it as a positive signal for the market.

— Patti Domm

Stocks open lower

Stocks opened lower on Wednesday as Wall Street combed through new retail data and looked ahead to the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's recent meeting.

The Dow last traded 213 points, or 0.62%, lower. The S&P and Nasdaq fell 0.85% and 1.19%, respectively.

— Samantha Subin

Retail sales flat in July as falling prices hit gas station receipts

Retail sales were flat in July as falling fuel prices depressed gas station receipts and shoppers used the savings to spend in other areas.

The zero gain in monthly sales was slightly less than the 0.1% Dow Jones estimate, while ex-autos gain of 0.4% was better than the flat expectation.

Gas station sales fell 1.8% for the month, though they rose just shy of 40% for the year. Online sales increased 2.7% while bar and restaurant sales rose just 0.1%.

Teladoc slides after Guggenheim says sell

Teladoc Health shed more than 5% in premarket trading Wednesday after Guggenheim said now is the time to sell the company following its Covid-pandemic boom.

Going forward, revenue growth is poised to decelerate as momentum from the pandemic wanes, according to the firm.

Read more on CNBC PRO.

—Carmen Reinicke

Weber shares slip after downgrade

Weber, which plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker 'WEBR' could be valued between $4 billion and $6 billion.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Shares of grill-maker Weber slipped nearly 5% in premarket trading Wednesday after Citi downgraded the stock to sell.

The stock could fall an additional 65% from current levels on weak sales, according to Citi.

Bed Bath & Beyond pops again as meme rally builds

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond surged more than 30% in premarket trading as the revival of the Reddit-fueled meme craze showed no signs of slowing down.

Bed Bath & Beyond has already seen five days this month with moves of at least 20%. The stock is up nearly 300% for August as of Tuesday's close.

The volume of trading in Bed Bath & Beyond has also been abnormally high. On Tuesday, more than 395 million shares traded hands, according to FactSet.

— Jesse Pound

Fed minutes to be released; markets looking for hints on September move

The Federal Reserve will release minutes from its July 26-27 meeting, with markets looking for hints on what is coming in September. The meeting summary will come out at 2 p.m.

As part of the ongoing effort to beat back inflation, the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted to increase interest rates by 0.75 percentage point for the second consecutive time. That took the Fed's benchmark borrowing rate to a range of 2.25%-2.5%.

Chairman Jerome Powell said at his post-meeting news conference that the Fed likely will slow the pace of rate hikes after policy tightens further, and markets took that to mean that the central bank could dial back its moves soon.

However, market pricing is closely divided, with a slight tilt to a third consecutive three-quarter-point hike next month, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Nomura economists said the minutes likely will show that "all options are on the table" for the September session.

"Beyond September, we believe comments will likely suggest a firmer consensus that rates will need to move more deeply into restrictive territory and rate cuts are unlikely until inflation moves much closer to target, regardless of incoming activity data," the firm said.

—Jeff Cox

Mortgage rates slip but demand falls

Demand for mortgages fell 2.3% to its lowest level in 22 years last week even as rates slipped.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 1% for the week and 18% from a year ago. Total volume also slipped 2% from the previous week.

At the same time, the average rate on the 30-year fixed rate dropped to 5.45% from 5.47% the week before.

— Samantha Subin

Lowe's shares pop after earnings release

Lowe's shares traded more than 3% higher in the premarket after the home improvement retailer posted a profit that beat analyst expectations.

The company earned $4.67 per share, adjusted, beating a Refinitiv consensus forecast of $4.58 per share. Lowe's said sales to do-it-yourself consumers suffered last quarter, but noted that this was partially offset by increased sales to professionals.

—Fred Imbert, Jack Stebbins

Target posts huge earnings miss

Employees assist customers at the checkout area of a supermarket on May 11, 2022 in New York City.

Liao Pan | China News Service | Getty Images

Target reported a big earnings miss, as the retailer tries to sell off unwanted inventory.

The company earned 39 cents per share in the previous quarter. That's well below a Refinitiv consensus forecast of 72 cents per share and represents a drop of nearly 90% from the year-earlier period.

"If we hadn't dealt with our excess inventory head on, we could have avoided some short-term pain on the profit line, but that would have hampered our longer-term potential," CFO Michael Fiddelke said in a statement.

Trading in Target shares was choppy after the release, with the stock last down 2%.

Fred Imbert, Melissa Repko

European markets nudge higher, struggling to build momentum

European markets were cautiously higher on Wednesday after a rally on Wall Street, having struggled to build positive momentum so far this week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.2% in early trade, with banks rising 0.7% while basic resources slipped 0.3% lower.

Investors in Europe are tracking preliminary gross domestic product data from the euro zone for the second quarter, as well as unemployment figures for the single currency bloc and the latest U.K. inflation figures for July.

- Elliot Smith

UK inflation hits new 40-year high of 10.1% as food and energy price surge continues

U.K. inflation rose to another 40-year high in July as spiraling food and energy prices continued to intensify the country's historic squeeze on households.

The consumer price index rose 10.1% annually, according to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday, above a Reuters consensus forecast of 9.8% and up from 9.4% in June.

Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, came in at 6.2% in the year to July 2022, rising from 5.8% in June and ahead of projections of 5.9%.

Rising food prices made the largest upward contribution to annual inflation rates between June and July, the ONS said in its report.

- Elliot Smith

CNBC Pro: Have markets hit the bottom? Strategist reveals the indicators to watch

A strong rebound in U.S. equities has sparked hope that the market has bottomed. But is the bear market truly behind us now?

Strategist Victoria Fernandez weighed in, and revealed the key indicators she is watching.

Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: Is 'super cheap' Meta a buy? Here's what tech investor Paul Meeks says

Meta, like most tech stocks, has fallen sharply this year, and now investors might be wondering whether it's time to buy the dip.

Paul Meeks, portfolio manager at Independent Solutions Wealth Management, explains whether he thinks investors should buy or skip this stock, and why.

Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Weizhen Tan

Retail sales data to be released early Wednesday

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 14: A person passes a 30% off sign on display in a store at the Lincoln Road mall on December 14, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida. Reports indicate that some retailers do not have the holiday sale specials that shoppers expect to find this time of the year. Retailers are blaming inflation and supply chain challenges for not being able to slash prices as much as they traditionally would. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

As investors digest earnings, they're also looking to U.S. retail sales data for the month of July for clues on how consumers are managing the impact of rising inflation and high gasoline prices.

Economists expect the report to show consumers increased spending just 0.1% in the month, according to Dow Jones. The release is scheduled for 8:30 Wednesday morning.

Retail sales rose 1% in June, with gasoline stations, online sales, and bars and restaurants being some of the biggest contributors.

— Tanaya Macheel

Target and Lowe’s earnings on deck

The S&P 500’s best earnings season rally since 2009

Bespoke Investment Group's Paul Hickey said the S&P 500 is seeing its best earnings season rally since 2009.

"Analyst sentiment had become extremely negative heading into this reporting period, [with] the pace of negative revisions outnumbering positive revisions by levels you don't see too often," he said on CNBC's "Closing Bell: Overtime." "The bar was set very low, and we rallied about 10% this earnings season. The best earnings season going back to 2008 was the second-quarter reporting period of 2009."

Typically with a rally of 5% during earnings season, the question becomes whether or not investors have borrowed from the future, but historically, that's not necessarily the case, he added.

"Instead of borrowing from the future, we're getting payback from, say, the loan we gave in June coming into earnings season, when the market just vomited concerns that this was going to be an earnings disaster and when we sort of reached peak fed panic over inflation."

— Tanaya Macheel

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