The three major U.S. equity indexes plummeted Wednesday, following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference. The Fed raised interest rates by another 0.75%, and pretty much squashed any notion of letting up on the big hikes any time soon. The Dow Jones industrials ended the day down 1.55%, while the S&P 500 closed 2.5% lower and the Nasdaq retreated 3.36%. All 11 sectors closed lower, with consumer cyclicals (−3.79%) and technology (−3.47%) posting the biggest losses. Utilities (−1.02%) suffered the smallest loss.
On Friday, the monthly report on nonfarm payrolls is expected to show a gain of 220,000 jobs, down from the September total of 263,000 new jobs. The headline unemployment rate is forecast to tick higher, from 3.5% to 3.6%.
The three major indexes traded lower shortly after Thursday’s opening bell.
After U.S. markets closed Wednesday, Qualcomm reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) that met the consensus estimate and topped the revenue forecast by about $15 million. Shares were sinking Thursday morning, after the company’s current quarter guidance fell well short of expectations. The stock traded down by about 7.9%.
Robinhood reported a smaller-than-expected loss but fell short on revenue. Operating expenses fell by 69% after two rounds of layoffs this year (one in April, the other in August), but transaction revenue also fell by 22%. The narrower loss appeared to be investors’ lodestone Thursday morning, with shares up about 6%.
APA beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines. Results were slightly better than the company projected in its preliminary report last month but not enough to impress investors. Shares traded up by about 4.9%.
Albemarle missed the consensus revenue estimate but easily surpassed the EPS estimate. Record prices for lithium carbonate get most of the credit. But Albemarle lowered its fiscal year EPS and revenue guidance, and that guided investors toward the exits. The stock traded down 1.6% early Thursday.
Before markets opened, Peloton reported big misses on both profit and revenue. Member count fell, and the company said it expects the losses to continue. The company also lowered current quarter revenue guidance. Shares plunged 11.5% in early trading.
Exelon reported a mixed quarter, beating the consensus EPS estimate but missing on revenue. Fiscal year EPS guidance was in line with expectations, but the high end was well above the consensus. Shares traded down 3.3%.
ConocoPhillips beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines. The company raised its capex guidance from $7.8 billion to $8.1 billion, reflecting the impact of inflation and production mix in the Lower 48 states. Shares traded up by about 4.7%.
Barrick Gold also beat top-line and bottom-line estimates although revenue fell by nearly 11% year over year. Production was lower year over year, costs were higher, and gold prices are down. The stock traded down by about 3.6%.
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