NEW YORK, Nov 21 — US stocks fell today as investors awaited Nvidia’s quarterly results and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting minutes, while multiple downbeat earnings from retailers also weighed on sentiment.
A technology-fuelled rally led the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to register their highest closing level in over three months yesterday, as investors continued to bet that the Fed was at the end of its rate hiking cycle.
Big Tech stocks, which have powered most of the S&P 500’s gains this year, now face an important test, with Nvidia due to report third-quarter results after markets close.
The chip designer is expected to deliver yet another strong revenue forecast but the focus will be on the impact of widening US curbs on sales of its high-end chips to China.
Shares of Nvidia inched 0.2 per cent lower while other megacap stocks were mixed.
“The market (is) digesting the big move yesterday,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth, adding that a year-end rally is still likely given better-than-expected earnings and moderating inflation.
Before the quarterly report, minutes of the Fed’s November meeting are likely to offer more cues on the monetary policy path after evidence of easing consumer and producer prices boosted expectations that US interest rates had peaked. The minutes are due to be released at 1400 ET (1900 GMT).
Traders have fully priced in the probability that the Fed will hold interest rates steady in December, with 29 per cent betting on the likelihood that the central bank will deliver a rate cut as soon as March, according to the CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.
“The economy is slowing. If they (the Fed) sit on their hands and let this continue to slide, then you start to worry that a soft landing might become a little bit of a bumpy landing,” Pavlik added.
At 9.42am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 80.09 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 35,070.95, the S&P 500 was down 10.00 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 4,537.38, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 51.86 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 14,232.68.
A slew of downbeat corporate updates from US retailers painted a dour picture for consumer spending.
Lowe’s Cos fell 2.8 per cent after the home improvement chain projected a bigger drop in annual comparable sales than previously expected and trimmed its profit forecast for the year.
The S&P 500 retail sub-index, housing the stock, fell 1.7 per cent.
Best Buy slipped 4.5 per cent after the electronics retailer said it expects a steeper drop in annual comparable sales, while Kohl’s Corp shed 9.2 per cent on missing third-quarter sales estimates.
This week is light in terms of economic data, while trading volumes are also expected to be thin ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.33-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.04-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 24 new highs and 36 new lows. — Reuters