Day Traders Diary


The major averages reversed course in the afternoon, selling off sharply Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffering its first decline of 2022 due to concerns of potentially tighter U.S. monetary policy.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 392 points, or 1.07%, at 36,407. The 30-stock average hit an intraday record earlier in the session. The S&P 500 fell 1.94% to 4,700. The tech-heavy Nasdaq saw its biggest one-day loss since February, losing 3.34% to end at 15,100.

The 10-year Treasury yield hit its high of the day and the S&P 500 hit its low of the session as investors digested the minutes of the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting, which showed the Fed discussing reducing its balance sheet shortly after it raises rates later this year.

The Fed is tapering its bond purchases now and has already indicated to the market that it will raise rates soon after it finishes that taper in March. But the market is awaiting indications from the Fed on what it will do with its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet once it's done increasing it. The minutes show officials to be considering shrinking the balance sheet along with raising rates as another way to remove policy accommodation.

The Fed update pushed the 10-year yield to above 1.70%. It ended last year at 1.51%. Shares in the tech space were hit the hardest as higher rates caused investor to rotate out of speculative stocks with higher valuations.

Mega cap tech stocks were all lower, along with Oracle, Cisco Systems and Intuit. Salesforce dropped 8.2% following a downgrade from UBS. UBS also cut Adobe, sending its shares down 7.1%. Among chipmakers, Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia both fell about 5%. Marvell lost 4.8%.

Honeywell, General Electric and Caterpillar all remained slightly higher Wednesday afternoon amid the market sell-off.

Bank of America gave an upgrade to Pfizer, noting that the company's profits from Covid treatments provide upside for the stock. Pfizer's shares moved 2% higher.

ADP reported Wednesday that private job growth totaled 807,000 in December, more than double the Dow Jones estimate of 375,000. The data in the report covers only through the middle of December, however, which was before the height of the escalation in Covid cases and concerns.

Investors looking for clues on where the economy stands heading into the new year also awaited Friday's more closely watched nonfarm payrolls count, which is expected to show a gain of 422,000.

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