- Major U.S. equities indexes were mixed on March 8, with the chair of the Fed wrapping up Congressional testimony and concerns over labor market data.
- The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended Wednesday's session with minimal gains, while the Dow closed slightly lower.
- The potential for lower rates sent oil futures lower, which sank stocks in the fossil fuel industry.
U.S. equities finished mixed amid concerns about what new jobs data and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments to Congress might mean for interest rates. The Dow lost early gains and never fully recovered, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq made a late-day comeback to finish in the green.
Shares of semiconductor companies rose. ON Semiconductor (ON) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) were the two best-performing stocks in the S&P 500, while Intel (INTC) was the leading gainer in the Dow. Molson Coors (TAP) shares advanced on speculation the maker of Coors, Miller, and other beer brands might be a takeover target.
Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) added 1%. Opko Health (OPK) shares moved higher as the healthcare company and Merck (MRK) signed a licensing deal for Opko's experimental Epstein-Barr vaccine. Shares of Merck declined.
Tesla (TSLA) shares dropped as safety regulators announced investigations into the electric carmaker, and an analyst downgraded the stock. Brown-Forman (BF.B) shares slipped after the maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey reported a big drop in profit. Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), Carnival Corporation (CCL), and Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) all sank. Shares of Silvergate Capital (SI) are plunging over 34% in extended trading after the struggling cryptocurrency bank said that it would wind down operations and liquidate.
Oil Prices Decline
The possibility of higher rates sent oil futures lower, and that dragged down shares of fossil fuel producers. One that gained, however, was Occidental Petroleum (OXY) after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) boosted its stake in the company.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was flat, as were gold prices. Wheat futures tumbled to their lowest level since the summer of 2021. The U.S. dollar gained versus the euro and yen but fell against the pound. Prices for major cryptocurrencies were mixed.