US stocks close mixed as investors brace for Nvidia earnings and digest Fed minutes

Feb 21, 2024
  • US stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as traders looked ahead to Nvidia’s earnings report.
  • The S&P 500 and Dow closed in the green while the Nasdaq finished lower on the day.
  • Investors digested the latest Fed minutes and repriced their expectations for rate cuts in 2024.

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Stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as investors grew anxious ahead of Nvidia’s highly-anticipated fourth-quarter earnings report. The S&P 500 and Dow closed in the green after earlier losses, while the Nasdaq finished lower on the day.

Nvidia shares continued to slump, declining another 3% on Wednesday after a 4% decline the prior day. The firm will deliver its earnings results after the closing bell. Wall Street analysts expect the firm to have pulled around $20 billion in revenue.

Even if Nvidia beats that target, it still might not be enough to meet investors’ astronomically high expectations for the stock. The company is among the best-performing names in the Nasdaq Composite, having soared over 200% over the past year. 

“There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the run the stock has been on since its 2022 lows,” Freedom Capital Markets chief global strategist Jay Woods said in a statement on Wednesday, expressing his bullish outlook on the stock. “Can this momentum continue? The answer is simple. Yes. Yes, it can.”

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. closing bell on Wednesday: 

In the meantime, investors digested the minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting. Central bankers expressed some hawkishness over interest rate cuts this year, with most members pointing to “the risks of moving too quickly to ease the stance of policy,” the minutes said.

Markets pushed back on rate cut expectations for the year. Investors are now pricing in a 29% chance the Fed could begin cutting rates in May, down from a 32% chance priced in yesterday, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Here’s what else is going on today: 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 1.05% to $77.85 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, dipped 0.10% to $82.95 a barrel. 
  • Gold slipped 0.01% to $2,024.10 per ounce. 
  • The 10-year Treasury yield rose 4 basis-points to 4.323%.
  • Bitcoin dipped 1.9% to $51,108. 

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