The major U.S. stock indexes, including the Nasdaq, ended the day down more than 1% each. This decline was influenced by the recent gains in the market and investor nervousness ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s upcoming speech. Nvidia, a technology company, saw its shares barely increase after reaching a record high earlier in the session. The company provided a stronger-than-expected forecast and announced a $25 billion stock buyback. Despite Nvidia’s performance, all major S&P 500 sectors were down, and the semiconductor index dropped 3.4%. The annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where central bankers and economic leaders gathered, added to the market’s uncertainty. Investors are eagerly awaiting Powell’s speech on the economic outlook. The market’s focus on the Federal Reserve’s actions was highlighted by Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management, who stated that investors are more concerned about Powell’s remarks than Nvidia’s performance. The market had been performing well alongside Nvidia this week, driven by hopes that the company’s forecast would contribute to the ongoing rally in artificial intelligence tech stocks. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.08%, the S&P 500 lost 1.35%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.87%. Earlier in the day, data showed that U.S. unemployment claims remained low, indicating a strong job market. This news could support the Fed’s hawkish stance on interest rates. Treasury yields also increased. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker’s comments on CNBC further influenced investor sentiment. Harker stated that the Fed will need to maintain restrictive rates for a while. The Fed has been raising rates since March 2022 to combat inflation, and investors are seeking clarity on future rate increases and the Fed’s long-term rate plans. In addition to the overall market decline, Dollar Tree shares fell 12.9% after the retailer’s annual profit forecast fell below expectations. The volume on U.S. exchanges was slightly lower than the average for the past 20 trading days. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite recorded new highs and lows.
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