Markets Reverse Earlier Losses and Finish Higher

Table showing the performance of major U.S. financial indexes on Feb. 15, 2023


Key Takeaways

  • U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday, Feb. 15, with major equities indexes turning positive at the end of the trading session.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq increased 0.9%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow eked out gains of around 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.
  • Prices of major cryptocurrencies jumped higher, with Bitcoin trading above $24,000.

U.S. equities rallied back from earlier losses to close out the session in the green. They initially fell after the Commerce Department reported that January retail sales soared well above expectations, boosting fears of higher inflation and more Fed interest rate hikes. However, the market picked up steam in the last hour, putting the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq in positive territory.

Caterpillar (CAT) shares added 1.8%, one of five stocks in the Dow with shares up more than 1%, helping lead the comeback. Paramount Global (PARA) shares popped 9% as Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.Aincreased its stake in the entertainment provider. Solar energy stocks posted strong gains, with shares of SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG), First Solar (FSLR), and Enphase Energy (ENPH) all jumping. Generac Holdings (GNRC) exceeded earnings forecasts and gave strong 2023 guidance, lifting its shares. 

Shares of Airbnb (ABNB) took off after the vacation rental site posted better-than-expected fourth quarter results and current quarter outlook. Tesla (TSLA) shares were up as the White House announced that the electric vehicle (EV) maker's charging stations will be made available to drivers of EVs from other companies.

It was a tough day for shares of fossil fuel companies, with six of the 10 worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500 from that industry. Devon Energy Corporation (DVN) posted the biggest decline, with shares plunging 10% as the firm's financial results came in short of estimates. Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) shares sank 5%.

Eli Lilly, Bath & Body Works Downgrades

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) shares tumbled after the cloud services provider's current quarter and full-year guidance missed estimates. Shares of Biogen (BIIB) lost ground as the drug maker said that 2023 sales would decline. Shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) and Bath & Body Works (BBWI) slipped after analysts downgraded those stocks.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note advanced. Oil and gold futures fell. The U.S. dollar gained versus the euro, pound, and yen. Prices for major cryptocurrencies skyrocketed, with Bitcoin (BTC/USD) up above $24,000.

Table showing the S&P 500 stocks with the biggest gains and losses on Feb. 15, 2023


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