Markets Rise on Powell's Inflation Comments

Table showing performance of major U.S. indexes on Feb. 7, 2023


Key Takeaways

  • U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday, Feb. 7, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that inflation was moderating, although he noted that more rate hikes may be needed.
  • A strong response from tech stocks led the Nasdaq to a gain of 1.9%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow also ended the day higher.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) shares climbed on news that the company would incorporate artificial intelligence from ChatGPT in its search engine.

U.S. equities advanced after bouncing between gains and losses following comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggesting that inflation is easing but that policymakers would hike interest rates more if signs pointed to higher prices. Bond yields also had a big swing, initially sinking on Powell's comments before reversing course.

Microsoft (MSFT) led the Dow higher as the software giant announced that it will be using technology from artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT in its search engine. China's biggest search engine, Baidu (BIDU), said that it was ready to unveil its own challenger to ChatGPT. Its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) gained 12%. Boeing (BA) shares jumped more than 3% after the aircraft maker cut 2,000 white-collar jobs.

Oak Street Health (OSH) shares soared almost 30% on a report that CVS Health (CVS) is close to a $10.5 billion takeover of the primary care center operator. Shares of Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) skyrocketed as several analysts raised their price targets following the chipmaker's earnings report.

Better-than-expected profit from DuPont (DD) lifted its shares. Shares rose for video game makers Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) after their financial reports.

Incyte Corporation (INCY) shares dropped on the specialty drug maker's full-year guidance. Shares of Molson Coors (TAP) sank after Morgan Stanley initiated coverage with a hold rating. Verizon Communications (VZ) was the worst-performing stock in the Dow.

Meme Stocks Drop

It was a brutal day for investors of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), with shares losing nearly half their value after the home goods retailer facing potential bankruptcy said that it was looking to raise more than $1 billion selling preferred securities and warrants. Shares of other meme stocks tumbled as well.

Oil futures surged 4%. Gold prices climbed. The U.S. dollar was up against the euro but fell versus the pound and yen. Most major cryptocurrencies traded higher.

Table showing the S&P 500 stocks with the biggest gains and losses on Feb. 7, 2023


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