Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq trade lower as Wall Street awaits Jay Powell

Major averages traded lower on Tuesday as investors wait to hear from Fed chief Jerome Powell for the first time since his decision-day presser.


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Early on and the Dow (DJI) declined by 0.4%, the S&P 500 (SP500) slid 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP.IND) was near flat.

“Markets got the week off to a ‘scary spice’ start yesterday, with bonds and equities both soft, especially bonds,” Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid said. “That was driven by growing doubts among investors about whether inflation would come down as hoped over the coming months, which in turn saw them price in a much more aggressive pace of rate hikes from central banks.”

“Indeed, expectations of the Fed’s terminal rate for this cycle hit the first new high of the cycle since early November with the July contract ending yesterday with an implied rate of 5.157%, up from 4.81% at the recent lows last Wednesday,” Reid said.

The 10-year Treasury yield (US10Y) rose 1 basis point to 3.64%. The 2-year yield (US2Y) was lower by 1 basis point to 4.44%.

“Clearly any implication that there are upside risks to the Fed’s rate outlook would validate the shift in market pricing over the last couple of days,” Reid said.

Powell will speak at noon ET at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

“It would be helpful to hear an assessment of what the Fed actually thinks is happening given structural economic changes, cyclical impulses, and poorer quality data,” UBS’ Paul Donovan wrote. “An explanation of how the Fed thinks higher rates will change profit-led inflation would also be nice. Instead, we are likely to get unhelpful platitudes; ‘Payrolls high. Hike, hike, hike.'”

December import and export figures arrived, as the trade balance widened. International Trade in Goods and Services: -$67.40B vs. -$68.8B expected and -$61.00B in November.

Among active stocks, Chegg (CHGG) slumped on dour outlook.

Now read: Weekly Forecast, February 3, 2023: Inverted Yield Curve Likely To Persist Through August

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