Mixed Economic News for the U.S. – Fed Minutes Ahead, Markets React

Today’s U.S. economic news was a mixed bag. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell to 192,000 during the week ended Feb. 18 from an upwardly revised 195,000 level in the previous week, compared with expectations for an increase to 200,000 in a survey of analysts compiled by Bloomberg.[0] However, the latest reading of U.S. GDP growth came in at 2.7% for the fourth quarter, falling short of estimates of 2.9%.[0]

Wednesday’s stock market trading saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop 0.25%.[1] The S&P 500 index decreased by 0[2] The Nasdaq composite increased by 0.1%.[2] The Russell 2000, a small-cap index, increased[2]

The Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting minutes from earlier this month will be released by the Fed.[3] As the next meeting of policymakers approaches in a few weeks, investors will be paying close attention for any hints as to their thinking.[3] Markets expect the Fed will raise rates by another quarter of a percentage point in March and then again in May.[3] It is anticipated that a rate increase will occur in June, in order for the rate to exceed 5% by the middle of the summer.[4]

Meanwhile, futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are up 0.68%, 0.39%, and 0.23%, respectively, as of 4:50 a.m.[5] Thursday, EST[5] The Nasdaq index, laden with technology stocks, continued its rise after chip maker Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) reported better-than-expected results.[5] Shares of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) fell 7.6% after the online auction site warned of slower demand because of shifts in consumer spending, while shares of Lucid Group (LCID) tanked nearly 13% after the electric vehicle maker’s fourth-quarter earnings missed estimates.[6]

Oil rose, with Crude Oil WTI Futures up 1.8% to $75.29 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures crude was up 1.7% to $81.97 a barrel.[4] Gold Futures dropped 0.8% to a value[4] Etsy (ETSY) saw a 5% increase in their pre-market trading after their Q4 revenue of $807.2 million was reported, surpassing the previously predicted $753.[7]

0. “Semiconductor Stocks Lead Early Upward Move On Wall Street” RTTNews, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.rttnews.com/3346223/semiconductor-stocks-lead-early-upward-move-on-wall-street.aspx

1. “Dow Jones Futures Rise: S&P 500 Nears Key Support As Nvidia Earnings Loom; Here’s What To Do Now | Investor’s …” Investor’s Business Daily, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.investors.com/market-trend/stock-market-today/dow-jones-tumbles-sp-nears-key-support-nvidia-earnings/

2. “Dow Jones Futures Rise: Nvidia Earnings Lift Chips; S&P 500 Set To Bounce From Key Support | Investor’s Business …” Investor’s Business Daily, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.investors.com/market-trend/stock-market-today/dow-jones-futures-nvidia-jumps-on-earnings-sp-500-tests-critical-support/

3. “FOMC minutes, Nvidia earnings, eBay reports: 3 things to watch” Yahoo! Voices, 21 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/now/fomc-minutes-nvidia-earnings-ebay-155511280.html

4. “U.S. stocks wobble as rate fears outweigh strong earnings By Investing.com” Investing.com, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/us-stocks-are-rising-after-nvidias-upbeat-outlook-3012553

5. “Stock Market News Today: Stock Market Rally Dissolves, Indices Turn Red” TipRanks, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.tipranks.com/news/stock-market-news-today-u-s-futures-inch-up-after-a-volatile-trading-day

6. “Stock market news today: February 23, 2023” Yahoo News, 23 Feb. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/stock-market-news-today-february-23-2023-122852056.html

7. “Markets Today: Nvidia’s Bullish Revenue Outlook Lifts Stock Index Futures” Barchart, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.barchart.com/story/news/14481266/markets-today-nvidias-bullish-revenue-outlook-lifts-stock-index-futures