Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, for the second time in two days, reiterated hints of higher taxes, including a 28% corporate tax rate, a move most CEOs oppose.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||32420.06||-3.09||-0.01%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||12961.890099||-265.81||-2.01%|
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up gains or more than 300 points to end little changed. While the Nasdaq Composite fell over 2% and the S&P 500 0.55%.
|XLY||CONSUMER DISCRETIONARY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF||163.28||-2.44||-1.47%|
|XLE||ENERGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF||49.12||+1.32||+2.76%|
Consumer discretionary stocks were the biggest drag on the broader market, while energy stocks rose shaking off early weakness after a cargo ship temporarily blocked the Suez Canal threatening to disrupt global oil supplies.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose nearly 6% or $3.42 to $61.81 per barrel.
|USO||UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P.||41.45||+2.08||+5.28%|
In economic news, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the U.S. economy is on the path to recovery backing up the central bank’s recent forecasts in which GDP is now projected to rise 6.5%.
Treasury yields pulled back to 1.613% after the February durable goods report which showed shipments of big-ticket items excluding transportation fell 0.9% month over month, missing the 0.6% gain that economists surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating. The disappointing data, which snapped a nine-month streak of increases, may have been impacted by winter storms that swept across the country last month.
Looking at stocks, Dow component Intel Corp. said it will build two new chip manufacturing facilities in Arizona as it renews efforts to produce chips for others amid a global shortage. The company’s plan also includes outsourcing the production of key components to other manufacturers. Shares gave up gains to close lower.
Meanwhile, GameStop Corp. got hammered down over 33% after it reported net sales declined 3.3% from a year ago despite a 175% increase in e-commerce revenue. The videogame retailer, which declined to discuss its digital transformation, is considering selling new shares to help fund the shift.
Elsewhere, ViacomCBS Inc. priced a $3 billion offering of 20 million shares of Class B common stock at $85 apiece. The stock plunged more than 9% on Tuesday on news of the offering and lost another 22.8% during Wednesday’s session.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said U.S. customers can now purchase his company’s vehicles with bitcoin. The electric-car maker will continue to hold the cryptocurrency and not convert it into U.S. dollars or other fiat currency.