Day Traders Diary

8/18/21

The major averages dropped sharply in the last hour for a second day as investors digested the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes for insights into tapering plans. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 382 points or about 1.1%, to 34,960. The S&P 500 dipped nearly 1.1% to 4,400. The two averages both snapped five-day winning streaks in the prior session. The Nasdaq Composite edged roughly 0.9% lower to 14,525.

The Fed published its meeting minutes from its July gathering, revealing discussions about possibly dialing back its monthly bond-buying program this year.

The minutes noted the economy had reached its goal on inflation and was "close to being satisfied" with the progress of job growth.

To be sure, the minutes also reflected some division within the Fed with some members preferring to wait until early 2022 to start tapering bond purchases.

Since that July meeting, there's been growing support within the central bank to announce a tapering in September and begin it in October.

Elsewhere, housing starts fell 7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.534 million units, well below economists' expectations.

Investors also waded through more earnings reports from major retailers Wednesday.

Lowe's shares popped 9.5% after the home improvement company's earnings last quarter topped expectations, with higher sales to home professionals.

Shares of T.J. Maxx-parent TJX also gained nearly 5.6% after a better-than-expected quarterly earnings report.

Target shares pulled back about 2.8% despite the retailer beating on second-quarter earnings. The company's profit and revenue topped expectations, and the company raised its forecast for the second half of the year, citing a good start to back-to-school spending.

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