Nasdaq 100, Dow Jones, S&P 500 News: Wall Street Indexes Dip Ahead of Inflation Data

James Hyerczyk
Published: Feb 28, 2024, 15:59 UTC

Key Points:

  • Wall Street's main indexes under pressure.
  • Inflation concerns stall earnings-driven rally
  • Mixed U.S. economic data influences market sentiment
Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500, Dow Jones

In this article:

Wall Street Indexes Dip

Wall Street’s main indexes are edging lower shortly after the cash market opening on Wednesday. This cautious approach by investors comes as they await crucial inflation data, set to influence the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions. The upcoming personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, a key inflation indicator favored by the Fed, is anticipated to reveal a monthly rise in prices for January.

At 14:30 GMT, the Dow is trading 38894.02, down 78.39 or -0.20%. The S&P 500 Index is at 5070.44, down 7.74 or -0.15% and the Nasdaq Composite is trading 15960.58, down 74.72 or -0.47%.

Earnings Rally Stalls, Inflation Concerns Loom

The stock market, which saw a vigorous rally fueled by strong earnings reports and excitement over artificial intelligence (AI) advancements, has faced hurdles in recent days. Persistent inflation concerns, evidence of a robust U.S. economy, and reluctance from Fed officials to reduce interest rates have led traders to adjust their expectations, now forecasting the first rate cut in June, pushed back from March. Today’s price action highlights the nervousness surrounding inflation and the Fed’s response.

U.S. Economy’s Mixed Signals

Recent data confirmed that the U.S. economy maintained a solid growth rate in the last quarter, driven by strong consumer spending. However, early indicators for the current year suggest a slowdown. Upcoming jobless claims and manufacturing data are also eyed for insights into the economy’s health and potential interest rate moves.

Sectorial Movements and Key Stocks

In early trading, losses were led by tech stocks, with significant movements in individual companies. Applied Materials faced a decline following an SEC subpoena regarding its China shipments. AI leader Nvidia saw a modest dip. Contrarily, Beyond Meat surged following its revenue beat and cost reduction plans. eBay also gained on strong quarterly results. However, Bumble and Novavax experienced declines due to disappointing forecasts and financial results, respectively.

Cryptocurrency Firms Gain Amid Bitcoin Surge Cryptocurrency-related stocks like Coinbase Global, Marathon Digital, and Riot Platforms saw gains as Bitcoin continued its upward trend, crossing the $60,000 mark.

Overall Market Outlook

With a higher number of declining issues compared to advancers on both the NYSE and Nasdaq, and mixed signals from various sectors, the market exhibits a cautious stance ahead of the upcoming economic data and Fed’s policy direction.

Short-Term Forecast: Cautiously Bearish

Given the apprehension ahead of the inflation report and mixed economic signals, the short-term outlook for the market leans towards a cautiously bearish sentiment. Investors are advised to closely monitor the upcoming inflation data and Fed officials’ comments for potential market impacts.

Technical Analysis

Daily E-mini Nasdaq-100 Index

E-mini Nasdaq-100 Index futures are drifting lower on Wednesday, capped by the all-time high at 18144.75. At the same time, the daily chart is showing plenty of room to the downside with the key target a potential support cluster formed by a minor bottom at 17372.75 and the uptrending 50-day moving average at 17354.60.

The market is currently giving investors choices. They can continue to accumulate shares just below the all time high, play for a breakout to the upside, or wait for a break into value at 17372.75 to 1.7354.60.

The price action also suggests investors are waiting for a catalyst so be patient.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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