Wall Street closed sharply lower on Wednesday terminating a strong rally of three successive days. Market participants remained concerned as no clear cut picture has appeared so far about which party will take control of the U.S. Congress as the midterm election results were too close to call. Weak earnings results also dented investors’ sentiment. Additionally, market participants are waiting for a key inflation data. The Dow and the S&P 500 posted their worst post-election day decline in a decade. Nasdaq Composite registered its worst post-election day drop in line with 2012.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) plummeted 2% or 646.89 points to close at 32,513.94. Notably, 29 components of the 30-stock index ended in negative territory while one in green. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished at 10,353.17, tumbling 2.5% or 263.02 points due to weak performance of large-cap technology stocks.
The S&P 500 dropped 2.1% to end at 3,748.57. All 11 broad sectors of the benchmark index closed in negative territory. The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB), the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF), the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK), the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XKY) and the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) plunged 1.6%, 1.7%, 2.6%, 3.1% and 4.9%, respectively.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 2.2% to 26.09. A total of 11.6 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11.8 billion. The S&P 500 posted 10 new 52-week highs and 16 new 52-week lows. The Nasdaq Composite registered 69 new 52-week highs and 463 new 52-week lows.
The results of the U.S. Congressional midterm election is yet to deliver any decisive verdict. So far, the Republicans have an edge in both the House of Representatives and Senate. However, a red-wave expected by election watchers is yet to be visible. At present, democrats control the House of Representative and have a slender edge in the Senate.
Wall Street generally likes a split Congress. Currently, the United States is having democrat President. A Republican controlled House or Senate or both is likely to create a stalemate regarding future government spending. Lower or no government spending may result into reduced inflation and interest rates.
The consumer price index (CPI) for the month of October will be released on Nov 10, before the opening bell. Market participants remained nervous before the release of this data as it may determine whether the Fed will continue with its aggressive interest rate hike policies or will reduce the magnitude of rate hike. October’s CPI data may also indicate whether the terminal interest rate will go beyond 5% and by how much. Investors are expecting the CPI to decline a little bit although it will stay elevated.
The Walt Disney Co. DIS reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 adjusted earnings of $0.30 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 40% and declining 18.9% year over year. Revenues increased 8.7% year over year to $20.15 billion but lagged the consensus mark by 4.50%.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. OXY reported third-quarter 2022 earnings of $2.44 per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.48. Earnings in the third quarter were lower than our estimate of $2.83 per share. However, total revenues were $9,501 million, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9,354 million.
Consequently, shares of The Walt Disney and Occidental Petroleum tanked 13.2% and 9.2%, respectively. Both stocks currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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