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Stock Market News Today, 02/28/24 – Indices Fall after Key Economic Data
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Stock Market News Today, 02/28/24 – Indices Fall after Key Economic Data

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U.S. indices finished lower on Wednesday after the release of key economic data.

Last Updated: 4:00PM EST

Stock indices finished today’s trading session in the red. The Nasdaq 100 (NDX), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 0.54%, 0.17%, and 0.06%, respectively. Furthermore, the U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield decreased to 4.27%, a four basis points drop. Similarly, the Two-Year Treasury yield slipped, as it hovers around 4.65%.

Earlier today, a second estimate for fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was released. The estimate came in at 3.2%, below economists’ expectations of 3.3%.

In other news, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly Crude Oil Inventories report, which measures the weekly change in the number of barrels of commercial crude oil held by U.S. firms.

Compared to last week, inventories increased by 4.199 million barrels. For reference, economists were expecting an increase of 3.1 million barrels week-over-week. This means that demand was weaker than anticipated.

First Published: 3:42AM EST

U.S. futures inched lower on Wednesday morning as investors remained cautious ahead of key economic releases that could provide insights into the future monetary policy. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are down by 0.41%, 0.25%, and 0.24%, respectively, at 3:42 a.m. EST, February 28.

In yesterday’s trading session, the SPX and NDX indices exhibited modest gains. On the other hand, the Dow Jones ended lower primarily due to a 2.3% decline in UnitedHealth (UNH) stock. This decrease followed reports about an antitrust investigation into the company by the Department of Justice.

In after-hours action, shares of online marketplace provider eBay (EBAY) rose 4.2% on impressive capital deployment moves. At the same time, shares of Urban Outfitters (URBN), a fast-fashion company, fell about 9% after it announced weaker-than-expected Q4 earnings.

Moving to key economic reports, a second estimate for the fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be released today. Currently, economists expect the U.S. economy to have expanded by 3.3% in the final quarter of 2023. Additionally, the quarterly results of Salesforce (CRM), Snowflake (SNOW), Squarespace (SQSP), and Monster Beverage (MNST) will be reported today.

Meanwhile, the U.S. 10-year treasury yield is down, floating near 4.3% at the time of writing. Also, the WTI crude oil futures are lower, hovering near $78.55 per barrel as of the last check, on indications of higher U.S. inventories.

Elsewhere, European markets are expected to open higher as investors are optimistic ahead of the economic releases, including consumer and business confidence data, as well as consumer inflation expectation figures for the Eurozone.

Asia Pacific Markets Ended Lower on Wednesday

Asia-Pacific indices ended in the red on Wednesday after the New Zealand central bank decided to maintain its interest rate at the current level.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, China’s Shanghai Composite, and Shenzhen Component indices ended down by 1.51%, 1.91%, and 2.4%, respectively. Similarly, Japan’s Nikkei and Topix indices finished lower by 0.08% and 0.13%, respectively.

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