US interest rate decision and Ukraine crisis weigh on Wall Street


The “Fearless Girl” on New York’s Wall Street

(Photo: AP)

new York Investor concerns about rapid rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve and the Ukraine crisis continued to weigh on US stock markets on Tuesday. Mixed company balance sheets also weighed on the mood. The US standard value index Dow Jones closed with a discount of 0.2 percent at 34,297 points. However, it was able to break away from its daily low of 33,545 points. The broad S&P 500 fell 1.2 percent to 4,356 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2.3 percent to 13,539 points.

“We live in a world where most market participants have never seen a rate hike cycle,” said equity trader Keith Temperton of brokerage house Forte Securities. “All they know is a Fed pumping money into the markets. So this is a shock now.”

The stock market is certain that the Fed will announce a rate hike for March on Wednesday. Some investors even expect an increase of half a percentage point instead of a quarter.

Company balance sheets are generally good, said Dan Eye, chief analyst at asset manager Fort Pitt. “But they’re more in line with expectations, rather than significantly above as in previous quarters.”

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The dollar index, which tracks rates against major currencies, rose 0.1 percent. In addition to the approaching interest rate hikes against the background of the Ukraine crisis, it benefited from its status as a “safe haven”.

The fear of delivery failures if this conflict escalated was also reflected in the price of oil. The US variety WTI rose in price by 2.3 percent to $85.24 per barrel (159 liters).

General Electric’s numbers disappoint

General Electric was one of the biggest losers on the US stock market with a price loss of almost six percent. The Siemens rival’s quarterly sales of $20.3 billion fell short of market expectations. The same applies to the profit target for 2022, complained analyst Gautam Khanna from asset manager Cowen.

American Express, on the other hand, increased by 8.9 percent. The credit card provider’s quarterly profit significantly exceeded expectations, praised analyst John Hecht from the investment bank Jefferies. The same applies to the sales targets for 2022. Only the targeted profit is a bit disappointing.

The shares of BioNTech listed in the USA were also in demand, increasing in price by 3.6 percent. The Mainz-based company is beginning the first clinical studies with a coronavirus vaccine specially adapted for the omicron variant. Subject to regulatory approval, the serum could launch as early as March. The titles of the BioNTech partner Pfizer increased 1.9 percent.

>> Read here our analysis: The debate about US monetary policy is becoming increasingly heated. A conversation between economists Krugman and Summers also provides information.

Look at other individual values

IBM: The company’s papers closed comfortably in the profit zone at 5.7 percent after good numbers. Strong demand for cloud software and IT services had brought the IT group the largest increase in sales in years. Analyst Mirko Maier from LBBW saw the numbers here as well above expectations.

Aerojet: Fading hopes of a takeover by Lockheed Martin bring Aerojet Rocketdyne its biggest share price drop in 20 years. Shares in the rocket engine maker fell 19 percent on Wall Street to a 14-month low of $36.50. The US competition authority FTC plans to sue the $4.4 billion deal over antitrust concerns.

PetMed Express: The company missed consensus estimates by 9 cents with quarterly earnings of 21 cents per share. The pet products maker’s sales also fell short of analysts’ forecasts. However, the share still rose by almost nine percent.

More: Chart technicians see further downside risks

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