Key Takeaways

  • U.S. equities indexes moved downward on Feb. 28, ending a month that saw stock markets stumble after an upbeat start to the year.
  • The Dow posted a loss of 0.7% in Tuesday’s session, while the S&P 500 fell 0.3% and the Nasdaq dipped 0.1%.
  • For the full month of February, the Dow saw the largest declines at 4.2%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell 2.6% and 1.1%, respectively.

A selloff in the last hour of trading sent U.S. equities into the red, closing out a month that was also in negative territory. In Tuesday’s session, the Dow lost 0.7%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had smaller declines. For the month, the Dow plunged 4.2%, the S&P 500 dipped 2.6%, and the Nasdaq fell 1.1%.

Goldman Sachs (GS) was the biggest drag on the Dow, with shares off 3.8%, as CEO David Solomon told an investor conference that the bank was considering strategic alternatives for its consumer business. Shares of Merck (MRK) dropped almost 3% as the drug maker ended a late-stage trial on the effectiveness of its Keytruda treatment for prostate cancer when the medicine failed to meet its main goal. Shares of Amgen (AMGN), Chevron (CVX), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG), and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) all lost more than 1%.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) shares sank on the cruise operator’s quarterly loss and outlook. Shares of rivals Carnival Corporation (CCL) and Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) declined as well. Universal Health Services (UHS) shares tumbled on the healthcare services provider’s full-year guidance. AutoZone (AZO) shares were down after the auto parts retailer reported profit that missed estimates.

Solid Earnings Reports

Dentsply Sirona (XRAY) shares jumped 10% as the dental equipment maker exceeded profit and sales forecasts. Advance Auto Parts (AAP) also beat quarterly expectations, sending its shares up. Strong earnings reports from Target (TGT) and Zoom Video Communications (ZM) lifted their shares.

Shares of Meta Platforms (META) advanced after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media giant will increase its work on artificial intelligence (AI). Applied Materials (AMAT) unveiled a new tool to help reduce the price of chip manufacturing, and its shares rose.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed. Oil futures climbed 1.5%, and gold prices added 0.5%. The U.S. dollar gained on the euro and pound but slid versus the yen. Most major cryptocurrencies traded slightly lower.


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