Stocks declined sharply Wednesday as investors turned cautious ahead of earnings from Tesla and Apple and focused attention on the first Federal Reserve policy decision of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 343 points, or 1.11%, to 30,593, the S&P 500 slumped 1.51% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.26%. Equities appeared headed for their worst day since late October.
GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings continued soaring as heavily shorted names ride higher in a battle between retail investors and Wall Street hedge funds.
Market sentiment also was weighed down by uncertainty surrounding President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan given the slim majority of the Democrats in the Senate, and data showing that confirmed global cases of Covid-19 surpassed 100 million.
Biden said the U.S. government was working to buy 200 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines, enough to fully inoculate nearly every American by the end of the summer, according to the president. The administration intends to order 100 million more doses each from Pfizer and Moderna .
Microsoft was rising 1.18% Wednesday after the software giant posted much stronger-than-expected fiscal second-quarter earnings thanks in part to a surge in cloud revenue and a big jump in personal computer sales.
Boeing reported a fourth-quarter loss well wider than analysts’ expectations and delayed the launch of its 777X widebody airplane as it continues to grapple with generational changes in airline demand triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic.
AT&T posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and overall revenue as wireless and broadband network growth offset a drop in revenue in its WarnerMedia unit.
Tesla , Apple and Facebook will be reporting earnings after the closing bell Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve will issue its decision on interest rates at 2 p.m. ET followed by a press conference with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
The Fed isn’t expected to move on interest rates and has signaled it will keep them near zero through 2023. Many Fed-watchers expect the central bank likely will reiterate Wednesday its commitments to keep rates near zero and make billions in monthly bond purchases until at least the end of the year.
This article was originally published by TheStreet.