Wall Street was up and down on Wed, a day when Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his commitment to curb inflation, even if it might cause a recession. A weak rally petered out, and the major US equity indexes finished modestly lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 47.12 pts, or 0.15%, to close at 30,483.13. The broader S&P 500 index fell 0.13%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite retreated 0.15%. The small cap Russell 2000 dropped 0.22%.
Megacap tech stocks fell on Wed, including Apple (AAPL US, -0.38%), Microsoft (MSFT US, -0.24%), Alphabet (GOOGL US, -0.05%), Nvidia (NVDA US, - 1.24%), and Meta Platforms (META US, -0.76%) except for Amazon (AMZN US, +0.25%).
Despite Powell’s hawkish testimony, US Treasury yields dropped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped 11.88 basis points (bps) to 3.1561%, while the yield on the 2-year Treasuries fell 14.04 bps to 3.0559%.
If the Fed is determined to fight inflation, that is not bullish commodities. On Wed, crude oil prices continued to sag. The front-month Brent and WTI futures closed down $2.91 at US$111.74/bbl and $4.46 at US$106.19/bbl respectively.
Copper prices tumbled on Wed to their lowest level since Mar 2021. US copper futures for delivery in Jul fell 2.6%, touching a low of $3.88 per pound.
The ICE dollar index (DXY), which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.23% to 104.197.
The most actively traded US gold futures (Aug) contracts settled down $0.40, or 0.02%, to end at US$1838.40/oz. July silver, which is the most actively traded silver futures, fell $0.347, or 1.59%, to end at US$21.465/oz.
European equity markets finished lower on Wed. The UK FTSE lost 0.88%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.81%, while the German DAX retreated 1.11%.