Markets Fall as Debt Ceiling Agreement Talks Drag on

Major U.S. Stock Indexes May 23, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Markets tumbled on May 23, 2023 as no new progress was reported in debt ceiling talks in Washington.
  • More than half of Dow stocks declined by 1% or greater.
  • Chevron shares advanced on an analyst upgrade.

U.S. equities sank as no new progress was reported in talks between the White House and congressional leaders to raise the federal debt ceiling before a potential government default next month. The latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes coming tomorrow could also provide a clearer view of where interest rates are heading. The Dow lost 0.7%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq sank 1%.

More than half of the stocks in the Dow lost 1% or more, led by Visa (V), which dipped by 3%. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500, and other casino stocks slumped with it. Autozone (AZO) shares tumbled after the auto parts retailer’s sales came in weaker than expected. Shares of  Advance Auto Parts (AAP) and O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) also fell. 

Netflix (NFLX) shares were down as the biggest streaming service warned U.S. customers it will begin cracking down on password sharing. Shares of rivals in the sector declined as well. Steel producers Nucor (NUE) and Steel Dynamics (STLD) dropped when JPMorgan analyst Bill Peterson recommended investors sell the stocks. Willis Towers Watson (WTW) shares dipped after BMO Capital cut its price target. 

Chevron (CVX) shares advanced almost 3% after HSBC raised its rating to buy from hold. Lowe’s (LOW) posted better-than-anticipated earnings and revenue, and shares of the home improvement retailer rose, as did those of Home Depot (HD). 

It was a second straight session of gains for regional bank stocks, with shares of Zions Bancorporation (ZION) adding 4%, and those of Citizens Financial Group (CFG) and Capital One Financial Corporation (COF) up 2%. Yelp (YELP) shares jumped after activist investor TCS Capital Management called on the company to take immediate action to improve the stock price. 

Oil futures advanced, gold futures were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note gave up earlier gains and slid. The U.S. dollar was higher versus the euro and pound, but lost ground to the yen. Prices for most major cryptocurrencies were up.

S&P 500 Gainers and Losers May 23, 2023
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