Close Update: Late Sell-Off Triggered by Upcoming FOMC Minutes, Breach in Tech Supports

Stocks unravelled late on Tuesday and surrendered earlier gains as the S&P 500 drifted below its 50-day moving average, and as investors liquidated positions ahead of Wednesday's manufacturing data and Federal Open Market Committee minutes.

The Dow was burdened for the entire day by a sizable correction in Walmart ( WMT ) and lost as much as 300 points before recouping about 50 points into the close. The Nasdaq was positive for most of the day on strength in semiconductor stocks, but relinquished today's gains as a result of losses in FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google).

Wall Street opened to the downside as higher Treasury yields tied to a record $258 billion in new supply and disappointing quarterly results from Walmart spooked investors. Developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign were initially responsible for a 200 point drop in the Dow. But the Dow perked up and was positioned to turn positive until the disappointing results of the 2-year Treasury note auction rekindled interest-rate jitters. The security was sold at a 2.255% yield, its highest rate in nearly a decade.

Rising borrowing costs unnerved investors and triggered a late selling spree across most sectors with losses heaviest in consumer staples, healthcare and telecom stocks.

Wednesday's economic calendar includes the February flash purchasing manager's manufacturing and services sector indices, January existing home sales, and the minutes to the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Also, the Treasury will auction 5-year Treasury notes.

Here's where the markets stood at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 254.63 points (-1.01%)

S&P 500 was down 15.96 points (-0.58%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 5.16 points (-0.07%)


FTSE 100 was down 0.01%

Nikkei 225 was down 1.01%

Hang Seng Index was down 0.78%

Shanghai China Composite Index was closed


(+) FOGO (+23.90%) To be acquired by Rhone Capital for $15.75 per share

(+) VYGR (+22.21%) Will collaborate with AbbVie ( ABBV ) on Alzheimer's treatment

(+) DIN (+16.04%) Reported better-than-expected Q4 EPS and sales results

(+) DCAR (+7.77%) Signs new agreement with Jaguar Land Rover Manhattan


(-) MDXG (-39.53%) Postpones Q4 and FY results to conduct investigation into matters related to sales and distribution practices

(-) UBNT (-25.34%) Receives SEC subpoenas

(-) ADMS (-21.85%) Osmotica Pharmaceuticals and Vertical Pharmaceuticals filed action requesting declaratory statement that Osmolex doesn't infringe on Adamas patents

(-) KIRK (-21.28%) Beat Q4 revenue guidance due to extra week, lowered FY17 EPS guidance

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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