US stocks moved ahead on Wednesday as Wall Street tried to shake off a three-week stock market sell-off.
The S&P 500 climbed 0.9% and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9% each, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 240 points, or about 0.8%.
In commodities, oil prices plummeted following a report that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to cut off energy supplies if the West imposes price limits on Russian oil and gas exports. West Texas Intermediate crude fell nearly 4%, reaching a low of $2.93 a barrel, its lowest level since Jan. 24. Brent futures fell 3.5% to $89.59 a barrel.
And on the currency front, the dollar index hit a new two-decade high of 110.55 on Tuesday.
Wednesday’s moves in the markets follow the latest report from Nick Timiraos in the Wall Street Journal that suggested another 75 basis point rate hike from the Federal Reserve is likely to happen later this month.
“Powell’s public commitment to reduce inflation, even if it raises unemployment, appears to have set the central bank on a path to raise interest rates by 0.75 percentage points instead of 0.50 points this month,” Timiraos wrote. .
“The difficult 2022 for equities may not get much easier as we now wait for better news on the inflation front, we are dealing with a seasonally weak September,” LPL Financial Research strategists said in a recent note.
Since 1950, the S&P 500 has recorded an average decline of 0.54% in September, the worst historical performance of all 12 months of the year. In addition, September was the only month in the past decade when the benchmark index suffered on average loss.
In cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) fell below $19,000, testing a new low for the year.
Shares of Sharpie marker, Elmer’s glue and Yankee Candle maker Newell Brands (NWL) fell nearly 5% after the company lowered its full-year forecast after the closing bell on Tuesday. Chief Executive Officer Ravi Saligram said Newell experienced a “significantly larger-than-expected pullback” in retail orders as inflation pressured consumer spending.
GameStop (GME) was in focus on Wednesday, with the meme stock favorite reporting its second-quarter results after the market close. The stock lost about 6% on Wednesday.
In July and August, according to FactSet Research, analysts slashed their third-quarter earnings per share estimates by a wider-than-average margin. The bottom-up third-quarter EPS estimate — an aggregation of median third-quarter EPS estimates for all companies in the S&P 500 — fell 5.4% from June 30 to August 31.
Typically, analysts lower earnings estimates during the first two months of a quarter. Over the past two decades, the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during the first two months of a quarter was 2.9%.
Morgan Stanley’s Michael J. Wilson, one of Wall Street’s most bearish strategists, lowered his expectations for earnings per share growth for the year in a note Tuesday, citing the growing threat of a slowing economy — more than inflation or monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve. Wilson expects earnings to fall 3% even if the US economy doesn’t go into recession.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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