Stock market today: Stocks fall as Fed lays out tightening plans

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Major U.S. indexes continued to emit anxiety on Wednesday before and after the release in the afternoon of the final minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee.

At last month’s meeting, Fed officials tentatively agreed to a quantitative tightening plan that would see the central bank sell $95 billion in assets every month – $60 billion in Treasuries and $35 billion in mortgage-backed securities. In addition, several FOMC members have said that 50 basis point hikes in the federal funds rate could be considered to help curb inflation.

The shares, which had been largely down all day, turned volatile after the minutes. Although they ultimately ended in the red, they did so on session lows.

Mega cap Technology (-2.4%) and consumer discretionary (-2.6%) names including Microsoft (MSFT, -3.7%), Amazon.co.uk (AMZN, -3.2%) and You’re here (TSLA, -4.2%) weighed the most on the Nasdaq Compound (-2.2% to 13,888). the S&P500 (-1.0% to 4,481) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.4% to 34,496) also ended lower.

“While the market took a bit of a breather anticipating an aggressive stance from the Fed, some fears may have been allayed with the release of the minutes,” said Mike Loewengart, chief investment strategy officer. at E*Trade. “Half-point raises are on the table, but that’s where the buck stops – half-point raises are not guaranteed to be the new norm.

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“And most predicted that a balance sheet plan would be rolled out, so the market might have priced that in already.”

Other news on the stock market today:

  • Small cap Russell 2000 slipped 1.4% in 2016.
  • Reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) will release 120 million barrels of crude oil from its reserves and data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) which showed national inventories unexpectedly increased the last week were sent U.S. Crude Futures tumbling below $100 a barrel (ending down 5.6% at $96.23 a barrel).
  • Gold Futures Contracts fell 0.2% to settle at $1,923.10 an ounce.
  • Bitcoin plunged 4.9% to $43,755.65. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices shown here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • Jet Blue Airways (JBLU) fell 8.7% after the airline made an unsolicited offer to buy more travel stock Spirit Airlines (SAVE, -2.4%) for $3.6 billion in cash. It comes after SAVE announced in February that it was merging with the carrier Frontier Group (ULCC, -11.0%) in a transaction valued at $6.6 billion – and which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. In response, Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth downgraded JBLU to Market Perform from Outperform (the equivalents of Hold and Buy, respectively). “While the deal may have longer-term merits, the execution risk is greater than that of the proposed Spirit-Frontier merger with dis-synergies likely to precede any meaningful synergy benefit,” Syth writes in a rating.
  • Rivian Automotive (RIVN) slipped 5.0% even as the electric vehicle maker said it was on track to hit its annual production target of 25,000 vehicles this year. It comes as the company delivered 1,227 vehicles in the first quarter, more than the 929 it delivered during the whole of 2021. units as more feasible than they were before, suggesting that Perhaps Rivian’s worst operational challenges are behind it all,” says CFRA Research analyst Garrett Nelson (Hold).

Retail stocks could sing

Inflation may be hot, but cash is burning a hole in consumers’ pockets. The retail industry has encountered more than its fair share of challenges, including soaring input costs and supply chain disruptions, which have only worsened with the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.

And yet, retail sales were up nearly 18% year over year in February. And the National Retail Federation’s outlook for 2022 calls for retail sales growth of between 6% and 8%.

“Despite everything thrown at them, including inflation, supply chain constraints, market volatility and significant geopolitical events, consumers remain able and willing to spend,” the chief executive said. the NRF, Matthew Shay.

Generally speaking, investors can access many retailers benefiting from this trend in the consumer discretionary and (to a lesser extent) consumer staples sectors.

But for a short list of some of today’s top performers, consider these five retail stocks, each boasting a crowded bull camp of Wall Street analysts and share price gains of between 25% and 80% %.

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