US open: Stocks lower as traders await FOMC minutes, Nvidia earnings

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 21 Feb 2024

US open: Stocks lower as traders await FOMC minutes, Nvidia earnings

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks were in the red yet again on Wednesday as attention turned to earnings from chipmaker Nvidia and minutes from the FOMC's latest policy meeting.
As of 1515 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.14% at 38,511.73, while the S&P 500 lost 0.16% to 4,967.65 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.46% weaker at 15,559.42.

The Dow opened 52.07 points lower on Wednesday, extending losses recorded in the previous session.

In focus early on Wednesday, chipmaker Nvidia weighed on both the Nasdaq and S&P 500, with sentiment souring ahead of the tech giant's quarterly results later today. Concerns regarding the group's high valuation continued to grow in the lead-up to its earnings announcement. The stock has surged roughly 225% over the past twelve months.

On the macro front, mortgage applications plunged 10.6% in the week ended 16 February, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, extending the previous week's 2.3% decline. Last week's drop marked the sharpest decline in mortgage demand so far this year and came just shy of matching the 10-month-high decline of 10.7% in the final week of 2023. Applications to purchase a new home dropped 10%, while those to refinance a home sank by 11%.

Still to come, minutes from the Federal Open Markets Committee's latest meeting will be published at 1900 GMT, with traders likely to parse through the release as they look for any hints as to what the central banks' next move may be when it comes to interest rates.

In the corporate space, shares in Palo Alto Networks traded sharply lower after the cybersecurity firm slashed full-year revenue guidance, while SolarEdge Technologies also headed south in early trading on the back of weak first-quarter guidance.

In terms of Wednesday's earnings, banking giant HSBC saw full-year pre-tax profits surge 80% to a record $30.3bn, driven by high interest rates, while Wingstop beat on both the top and bottom line but warned that sales had slowed for a fourth-consecutive quarter.

Nvidia and Etsy will report their latest set of quarterly figures after the close.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com


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