Dow closes more than 470 points lower Wednesday to snap 9-day win streak: Live updates

Wed, Dec 20 2023 4:25 PM EST

Stocks close lower Wednesday

Stocks closed lower Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite ending 9-day winning streaks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 475.92 points, or 1.27%, to 37,082.00. The Nasdaq Composite was lower by 1.50% to 14,777.94.

The S&P 500 declined 1.47% to 4,698.35.

— Sarah Min

Wed, Dec 20 2023 3:51 PM EST

Zero-day options and technicals could be the culprit behind late-day selling, says Miller Value’s John Spallanzani

Activity in the zero-day options space could have contributed to a late-day bout of selling around 3 p.m. ET, according to Miller Value’s John Spallanzani.

Zero-day to expiration options expire on the same day that they are traded, and they give their owners the right but not the obligation to buy or sell the underlying asset at a set price.

Nearly a million options contracts on the S&P 500 are expiring on Wednesday with a strike price of $475, Spallanzani said on “Closing Bell.” “Once we picked up $475, it seemed like the selling begot selling,” he said.

He called the sudden decline “an air pocket.” At its lowest point in the day, the S&P 500 dropped 1.23%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed about 373 points, or 0.99%.

-Darla Mercado

Wed, Dec 20 2023 3:48 PM EST

Citigroup moves to cut its distressed-debt business, sources say

Citigroup will close its distressed-debt business as part of the ongoing overhaul that CEO Jane Fraser is leading, sources told CNBC’s Hugh Son.

The group employs about 40 people, according to people with direct knowledge of the move.

Read the full story here.

— Jesse Pound

Wed, Dec 20 2023 3:29 PM EST

Fed may not cut interest rates until June, Morgan Stanley economists warns

Morgan Stanley said the next few inflation prints could be sticky and the Federal Reserve may not begin cutting interest rates until later than many expect.

“We think it will take until June for the Fed to have clear and convincing evidence inflation will return to the 2% target, and therefore begin cutting rates,” Ellen Zentner, the firm’s chief economist told clients.

That could be bad news for stocks, which have rallied this month to end an already-strong year. Investors have been growing increasingly optimism about the potential for the central bank to pull down rates starting in March.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

— Alex Harring

Wed, Dec 20 2023 3:25 PM EST

FedEx’s stock pullback may spell trouble for the broader market, Wolfe Research says

A nearly 11% pullback in FedEx stock after the shipping company issued lower-than-expected forward guidance may be a troubling sign for the broader market, according to Wolfe Research.

“[W]hile volatile at times, the correlation between FDX and the S&P has been a solid one,” Wolfe Research managing director Rob GInsberg wrote on Monday. “Now, it probably won’t derail the year-end melt-up, but given the multitude of overbought conditions and stretched indicators, a market pricing in perfection just got a bit of troubling news.”

Wed, Dec 20 2023 3:16 PM EST

Oil largely flat as traders weigh U.S. production against Red Sea threats

Oil prices were largely flat on Wednesday as traders weighed record U.S. production against threats to shipping in the Red Sea from militants.

U.S. crude rose 28 cents, or .38%, to settle at $74.22 a barrel, while Brent gained 47 cents, or .59%, to settle at $79.70 a barrel.

Oil prices rose more than 1% earlier in the day as traders worried that threats to shipping in the Red Sea from militants based in Yemen could disrupt crude supply. BP this week paused shipping through the Suez Canal due to safety concerns.

But traders’ focus shifted to worries that the market might be oversupplied after the U.S. produced an estimated 13.3 million barrels per day of crude last week, a new record.

Oil markets have grown bearish as breakneck production outside OPEC collides with a weakening economy in China, with crude prices declining significantly since September highs.

— Spencer Kimball

Wed, Dec 20 2023 3:10 PM EST

Stocks accelerate losses in final hour of trading

Stocks accelerated losses in the final hour of trading, despite being positive earlier in the session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 312 points, or 0.8%. The S&P 500 declined 1.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite was lower by 1.2%.

— Sarah Min

Wed, Dec 20 2023 2:34 PM EST

Utilities weigh on S&P 500 this week

Utilities stocks have restricted gains for the S&P 500 this week.

Down about 0.1%, the sector is the only of the 11 in the broad index on pace for losses this week. By comparison, the S&P 500 as a whole has climbed 1%.

That underperformance has somewhat offset gains seen elsewhere in the index. For instance, communication services, the best performing sector this week, has jumped more than 4%.

Pinnacle West Capital and AES dragged on the sector, with both slipping more than 2% over the course of the week. On the other hand, NRG Energy has helped buoy the sector through its gain of nearly 3%.

— Alex Harring

Wed, Dec 20 2023 2:18 PM EST

Tesla is on track to be the most-bought security by individual investors in 2023, research shows

Tesla has become a retail investor favorite in recent years.

The stock is on pace to see the highest net inflows from individual investors of any security in 2023, according to data from Vanda Research. It comes amid a strong year for the stock as part of a group of outperforming mega-cap technology names coined the “Magnificent 7.”

Everyday investors say they like Tesla because it’s considered disruptive technology and future-focused. Click here to read the full story.

— Alex Harring

Wed, Dec 20 2023 2:16 PM EST

Caterpillar is the leading Dow performer

Caterpillar was the best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up by 1.5% in midday trading. It was trading at all-time high levels back to when it first began trading on the NYSE in 1929.

In contrast, Coca-Cola shares was the biggest laggard in the 30-stock Dow, down 1%.

— Sarah Min, Chris Hayes

Wed, Dec 20 2023 1:55 PM EST

Bitcoin miners ETF continues to surge

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) jumped 9% on Wednesday as it looks to cap a blockbuster year with strong momentum.

The ETF entered the day with a total return of more than 250% year to date, making it the top performing non-leveraged or inverse ETF in the United States in 2023, according to FactSet.

Other crypto-related ETFs, including the VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP) and the Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH), have also returned more than 200% this year.

But despite the strong performance, investors have been reluctant to embrace these products. The WGMI still has under $50 million in total assets.

The surging price of bitcoin has helped the bitcoin mining stocks, but many investors may be waiting on a bitcoin ETF instead of buying the mining funds.

— Jesse Pound

Wed, Dec 20 2023 1:22 PM EST

Google-parent Alphabet among 31 S&P 500 names hitting fresh highs

Google-parent Alphabet was among the 31 names in the S&P 500 hitting fresh highs on Wednesday. Here are some of the others:

Alphabet A share trading levels not seen since April 2022Meta Platforms trading at levels not seen since Sept. 2021Netflix trading at levels not seen since Jan. trading at levels not seen since April 2022Booking Holdings trading at all-time highs back to its IPO in April 1999Nordson trading at levels not seen since Dec. 2021Parker Hannifin trading at all-time high levels back to its IPO in 1964Quanta Services trading at all-time highs back to its IPO in Feb. 1998Trane Technologies trading at all-time high levels back through Ingersoll Rand’s history, before its recent merger with Gardner Denver. Westinghouse Air Brake Tech trading at all-time highs back to the merger of Westinghouse Air Brake Co and MotivePower Industries in 1999

— Sarah Min, Chris Hayes

Wed, Dec 20 2023 12:56 PM EST

Stocks making the biggest moves midday

Check out some of the companies making headlines in midday trading.

General Mills — The food products stock fell more than 2% after General Mills lowered its sales outlook for the full year. Revenue for the fiscal second quarter was also weaker than expected, coming in at $5.14 billion. Analysts surveyed by LSEG were anticipating $5.35 billion.

FedEx — FedEx shares sank more than 10% after the package delivery behemoth cut its revenue outlook due to weaker demand. Late Tuesday, the shipping giant posted quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations on the top and bottom lines. The company said it anticipates a low-single-digit decline in revenue for the fiscal year. That’s down from previous guidance calling for flat sales. Shares of rival shipping company UPS dropped 1%.

Winnebago — Shares of the motorhome manufacturer stock fell 1.7% after Winnebago missed earnings expectations for the fiscal first quarter. The company reported $1.06 in adjusted earnings per share, while analysts surveyed by StreetAccount expected $1.18 per share. The company’s revenue fell about 20% year over year.

Read the full list here.

— Brian Evans

Wed, Dec 20 2023 12:09 PM EST

Holiday shopping period should meet or exceed expectations, Morgan Stanley says

Trends around retail traffic and promotions are looking good as the holiday shopping season enters its final leg, according to Morgan Stanley

Retailers saw less of a lull than normal after Black Friday and are now seeing strength in the days leading up to Christmas, analyst Alex Straton said. She said holiday retail traffic should either meet or exceed the firm’s initial outlook, which Straton said was cautiously optimistic.

“To us, the less-deep-than-typical post-BF lull & early momentum in the final 10-day stretch before Christmas bodes well for the rest of the season,” said Straton, using an abbreviation for Black Friday. “That, coupled with season-to-date upside, points to an in-line to likely better than expected 4Q/holiday outcome in our view.”

That recent performance marks a turn from the start of the month, which Straton said was more mixed for retailers.

— Alex Harring

Wed, Dec 20 2023 11:38 AM EST

Communication services bolsters S&P 500 as tech stocks rise

Communication services stocks buoyed the S&P 500 on Wednesday, underscoring technology’s outperformance in the session.

The sector climbed 1.7%, making it the best performer of the 11 that comprise the broad index. The S&P 500 as a whole traded slightly above flat, meaning the sector’s strength helped balance out losses seen elsewhere.

Alphabet led the index higher with a 3% advance. Paramount was the next biggest gainer, adding more than 2%.

To be sure, some communication service stocks bucked the trend. Notably, Live Nation was the worst performer in the session with a 2% slide.

More broadly, technology stocks outperformed in the session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added around 0.2%, while the Dow and S&P 500 both sat near their flatlines.

— Alex Harring

Wed, Dec 20 2023 10:37 AM EST

China ETFs hit fresh 52-week lows

Popular China ETFs fell on Wednesay to hit new 52-week lows.

The iShares China Large-Cap ETF slumped about 1.5%, led to the downside by declines from, China Merchants Bank, Meituan and China Tourism. All four stocks have fallen at least 40% this year, with the fund down 18% and headed for a third consecutive losing year.

The iShares MSCI China ETF also fell to lows not seen since November 2022, with the fund down about 16% year to date.

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite dipped about 1%. It’s fallen 6% since the start of 2023 and headed for a second staight negative year.

— Samantha Subin, Gina Francolla

Wed, Dec 20 2023 10:13 AM EST

Consumer confidence climbs in December

Consumers are showing higher signs of confidence heading into the end of the year.

The Conference Board said Wednesday that its consumer confidence index climbed to 110.7 in December, an uptick compared to the downwardly revised 101 a month earlier. The index is a barometer for what Americans think of present economic conditions as well as their six-month outlook.

“December’s write-in responses revealed the top issue affecting consumers remains rising prices in general, while politics, interest rates, and global conflicts all saw downticks as top concerns,” Conference Board chief economist Dana Peterson said.

Consumers’ view of current business and labor market conditions also ticked higher to 148.5 in December, up from 136.5 in November.

— Brian Evans

Wed, Dec 20 2023 10:06 AM EST

November existing home sales come in stronger than expected

November existing home sales came in stronger than expected.

Sales of previously owned homes in November rose 0.8% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 3.82 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Economists polled by Dow Jones were expecting a fall of 0.8% to 3.76 million units.

— Sarah Min

Wed, Dec 20 2023 9:47 AM EST

Alphabet rises despite broader market weakness

Wed, Dec 20 2023 9:34 AM EST

Stocks open lower Wednesday

The major averages opened lower Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 76 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.1%.

— Sarah Min

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