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Wall Street gains evaporate, S&P 500 ends lower on Fed tightening timeline

  • Tesla down in after-market trading after results
  • Markets gyrate in closing minutes after Powell Q&A
  • Mattel up on winning back Disney Princess license from Hasbro
  • Indexes: Dow off 0.38%, S&P down 0.15%, Nasdaq up 0.02%

NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 ended lower on Wednesday, taking an abrupt nosedive that reversed earlier solid gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve released its statement at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting.

All three major U.S. stock indexes gyrated wildly in the final minutes of a session that ended with the Dow joining the S&P in negative territory and the Nasdaq eking out a nominal gain.

The indexes enjoyed a brief surge after the Federal Open Markets Committee left key interest rates near zero. But those gains quickly evaporated as the Fed statement warned it would soon begin raising the Fed Funds target rate to combat persistent inflation related to the COVID-hobbled supply chain. read more

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“With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate,” the statement said.

Stocks slid into negative territory once Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s subsequent Q&A got under way, during which he warned that inflation remains above its long-run goal and supply problems are bigger and more long-lasting than previously thought.

“When reporters asked Powell if the Fed would consider raising rates at every meeting, which would mean more than four times this year, he didn’t say they wouldn’t, which indicates a flexibility to raise rates much more quickly (if necessary) than anyone was expecting,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 129.64 points, or 0.38%, to 34,168.09, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 6.52 points, or 0.15%, to 4,349.93 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 2.82 points, or 0.02%, to 13,542.12.

While all 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 spent much of the trading day green, by the time the dust settled only tech (.SPLRCT) and financials (.SPSY) showed gains.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Fourth-quarter reporting season has hit full stride, with one-fifth of the companies in the S&P 500 having posted results. Of those, 81% have beaten consensus, according to Refinitiv data.

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) gained 2.8% after current-quarter revenue guidance, driven in part by its cloud business, came in above consensus. read more

Boeing Co (BA.N) was down 4.8% after the plane maker said it incurred $4.5 billion in charges in the fourth quarter related to its sidelined 787. read more

Toy maker Mattel Inc (MAT.O) jumped 4.3% after regaining the right from rival Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) to produce toys based on Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) “Frozen” franchise. read more

Shares of Tesla (TSLA.O) fell about 5% in extended trade after the electric vehicle maker warned that its factories would run below capacity through 2022 due to supply-chain limitations.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.12-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.98-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and 9 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 28 new highs and 206 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 14.50 billion shares, compared with the 11.58 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

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Reporting by Stephen Culp in New York
Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York; Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; and Susan Mathew, Devik Jain and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru
Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: Wall Street gains evaporate, S&P 500 ends lower on Fed tightening timeline

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