On Wednesday, in the aftermath of European markets, the New York Stock Exchange finished significantly lower, in the face of the concerns that Covid-19 is creating about the economic recovery. Fed President Jerome Powell emphasized during the meeting that the pandemic in the United States makes the economic situation ‘particularly unpredictable.’
At the close, the Dow Jones dropped 2.05 percent to 30,303 points, while the large S&P 500 index lost 2.57 percent to 3,750 points, and the technology-rich and biotech-rich Nasdaq Composite index dropped 2.6 percent to 13,270 points.
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Since the closure, investors are looking forward to the fourth quarter 2020 reports for Apple (-0.77 percent), Tesla (-2.14 percent), and Facebook (-3.51 percent). After posting record earnings and revenue on Tuesday, above Wall Street consensus, Microsoft gained 0.25 percent.
The rather high valuations reached on Wall Street on technology and internet stocks by many investors are uncomfortable, leaving little room for error in the outcome. Good financial success by Microsoft was not adequate to offset risk aversion, which drove the dollar up and lowered sovereign interest rates.
Even, the speculative insanity that has gripped certain secondary stocks is starting to fear the extent of hedge fund losses. A trading fever has engulfed stocks targeted by short-selling funds in recent days, including GameStop, which surged another 134.84 percent on Wednesday, and AMC Entertainment (up 301.21 percent), at the risk of the stock market regulators launching an investigation. On Wednesday, also the White House voiced alarm, with its spokeswoman reporting that the White House and the Treasury Department are following the case concerning the behavior of Gamestop and other firms, which have soared for no apparent reason in recent days.
Given the losses that short selling hedge funds have suffered in recent days on these stocks, some traders are worried that these funds may have to sell other securities to respond to demands for margins, which may lead to a collapse in stock indices.
On the economic front, for December 2020, Durable Goods Orders Ex Transport in the United States was up a modest 0.2 percent from the previous month, compared to 1 percent consensus and 1.2 percent a month ago. However, orders were up 0.7 percent versus a forecast of 0.5 percent, following a 0.8 percent gain in November.