Dow Futures Fall, Oil Rises Above $100—and What Else Is Happening in the Stock Market Today

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has ushered in an end to pandemic-era monetary policy.


Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg

Stocks were slightly lower Thursday, after a market rally followed the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday announcement that it will begin lifting interest rates. Meanwhile, news on talks between Russia and Ukraine took a step back. 

Shortly after the open, the


Dow Jones Industrial Average

slipped 112 points, or 0.3%, after the index rallied 518 points on Wednesday. The


S&P 500

fell 0.3%, with the


Nasdaq Composite

0.4% lower. Wednesday, the Dow surged 1.6%, while the S&P 500 gained more than 2% and the Nasdaq surged more than 3%. 

That came even as the Fed said it is implementing a rate increase of a quarter of a percentage point and laid out its path to a total of seven increases this year—and more next year. The Fed is trying to combat surging inflation, and it seems prepared to do so at the cost of economic growth

Not helping stocks Thursday morning was news out of Russia. A spokesman for Russia said that a report of significant progress in talks between the country and Ukraine was “wrong,” though discussions remained ongoing. 

That helped send the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil up just over 6% to around $101 a barrel. Markets are concerned that Western nations’ restrictions on Russian oil are limiting the supply, lifting the price, and creating even more burdensome inflation for households. 

All things considered, moves in the stock market continue to point to worry about inflation and higher interest rates in the near term, which would cause economic demand and inflation to drop in the longer term. That’s why the two-year Treasury yield has risen 0.4 percentage points in the past month to 1.94%, while the 10-year yield has only risen 0.1 percentage point to 2.16%. 

Elsewhere, initial weekly jobless claims came in at 214,000, below the forecast for 220,000 and an improvement from the prior week’s result of 229,000. 

Overseas, Frankfurt’s


DAX

fell 1.2%, weighed down by the war in Eastern Europe, while bourses were buoyed in Asia, with the



Hang Seng

Index up 7%.

Markets in China were focused on other things. The 7% rise in Hong Kong’s key index follows 9.1% jump Wednesday—the best two-day performance since 1998—after China moved to boost the country’s economy and stabilize the stock market. State intervention comes amid a brutal selloff that had only accelerated in the past week, before reversing course following the news from Beijing.

“When a senior official makes announcements like yesterday’s, things have changed,” said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at broker Oanda. “The Chinese government is drawing a line in the sand on the China equity rout over the medium-longer-term, and we should all respect that.”

Here are six stocks on the move Thursday:

After notching their best-ever daily gains, shares in Chinese tech giants




Alibaba

(ticker: BABA) and




JD.com

(JD) were lower. After Alibaba spiked more than 36% Wednesday with JD.com roaring 39% higher, Alibaba was down 5.5% in the U.S., with JD.com falling 3.4%.




Williams-Sonoma

(WSM) stock gained 5.3% after the company reported a profit or $5.42 a share, beating estimates of $4.82, on sales of $2.5 billion, below expectations for $2.58 billion. 




Accenture

(ACN) stock rose 2.1% after the company reported a profit of $2.54 a share, beating estimates of $2.37 a share, on sales of $15.05 billion, above expectations for $14.65 billion. The company also raised full-year earnings guidance. 




Ralph Lauren

(RL) stock gained 2.3% after getting upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. 




CSX

(CSX) stock slipped 0.3% even after getting upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC. 

Write to Jack Denton at jack.denton@dowjones.com and Jacob Sonenshine at jacob.sonenshine@barrons.com

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