Wall Street gave back some of its recent gains Wednesday as uncertainty about interest rates and inflation continued to reign. The S&P 500 fell 46.14 points, or 1.1%, to 4,117.86 The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 207.68 points, or 0.6%, to 33,949.01. The Nasdaq composite fell 203.27 points, or 1.7%, to 11,910.52. The losses followed another mixed set of earnings reports. Chipotle Mexican Grill sank 5% after delivering weaker results for the latest quarter than expected, while disappointing forecasts for upcoming results knocked other stocks lower, the AP reports.
The pullback follows Tuesday’s gain of 1.3% for the S&P 500, which came after the first public comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell since the central bank raised interest rates last week. Markets found some solace in Powell’s signaling that Friday’s exceptionally strong jobs report wouldn’t by itself push the Fed to get more aggressive on interest rates. But analysts pointed out that Powell’s comments were just as tough on inflation as before. He said that while he has seen improvements in inflation, the road ahead is still long to get it fully under control. Companies have so far been reporting relatively lackluster earnings for the last three months of 2022, as rising costs eat into their margins.
Jack Henry & Associates, a company in the financial technology industry, sank 9.3% for one of the biggest drops in the S&P 500 after it reported weaker results than expected and trimmed financial forecasts for the full fiscal year. Lumen Technologies tumbled 20.9% despite reporting stronger results than expected. Its forecasts for some financial measures in 2023 fell short of analysts' expectations. On the winning side was CVS Health, which gained 3.5% after topping Wall Street’s forecasts for revenue and profit. It also said it would buy Oak Street Health, a primary care company, in a deal it valued at about $10.6 billion
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