The Dow and S&P 500 posted their first gains of the week but ended well off intraday highs, as financial shares turned negative in the afternoon.
In similar fashion to yesterday, stocks are giving back the day’s gains late in the session. All three averages were higher by 1% or more at noon, but the S&P 500 is up just 0.15% and the Nasdaq has turned modestly negative 30 minutes before the bell.
Crude oil prices are climbing, reversing earlier losses, after U.S. crude stockpiles fell unexpectedly by 1.61M barrels in the week ended Feb. 16, compared with analyst consensus for a 1.8M barrel increase.
U.S. stock index futures are looking at a positive open after a late drop in U.S. equities a day earlier, stoked by the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting and fresh concerns about higher interest rates. Dow +0.1%; S&P 500 +0.3%; Nasdaq +0.2%.
Holiday holdover? Videogame sales jumped 59% in January to log their highest January total in seven years, with broad increases across categories and hardware flying off the shelves.
With December’s videogame sales adding an exclamation point to the year as always, the industry closed out a 2017 with yearlong total sales rising 11% Y/Y to $14.59B.
Stocks sold off into the close after being higher for most of the day, with the Dow Jones average closing 167 points lower after rising as much as 300 points, as the release of the minutes from the January FOMC meeting did little to ease worries that the Fed could move to raise rates more than three times previously expected for 2018.
Pandora Media (NYSE:P) is rebounding heavily after hours, up 11.3%, after its Q4 earnings showed a narrower loss Y/Y and revenue that easily topped Street expectations.
Pandora Media (NYSE:P): Q4 EPS of -$0.21 misses by $0.14.Revenue of $395.33M (+0.7% Y/Y) beats by $18.9M.
The broad banking indices ((KRE +2%), (KBE +1.8%)) are up more than double that of the S&P 500 following the release of the minutes from the FOMC’s January meeting.
Up more than 1% in the minutes following what’s being interpreted as somewhat dovish FOMC minutes, the S&P 500 is now higher by just 0.25% as fixed-income markets reassess.
Many in the market had been bracing for a signal that a fourth rate hike was on the table for 2018, but those bets are being pulled after the January FOMC minutes showed minimal worry about speedier wage pressures.
While some participants noted reports of wage pressures from their business contacts, the general agreement is that there are few signs in the data of a broad-based pickup. Still, a number believe that continued tightening in labor markets must surely translate into perkier wage increases at some point.
In its response to a lower takeover offer from Broadcom (AVGO +0.7%), Qualcomm (QCOM -1%) says the change has “made an inadequate offer even worse.”
Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) lowers its offer for Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) to $79/share from $82/share.