Stock Market News For Feb 21, 2018

Markets finished in the red on Monday following a decline in the shares of Walmart. A spike in yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note also increased fears related to a spike in inflation and weighed heavily on the broader markets. Consequently, the Dow and the S&P 500 snapped their six-day streak of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased 1%, to close at 24,964.75. However, the S&P 500 fell 0.6% to close at 2,716.26. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,234.31, losing about 0.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 7.7% to close at 20.95.

A total of around 6.79 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 8.48 billion shares. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.98-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.05-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Walmart Weighs on the Dow

Shares of Walmart Inc. WMT declined 10.2% on Monday after posting fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein both earnings and revenues improved year over year and the latter also exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, Walmart crushed its nine-quarter long trend of posting positive earnings surprise in the quarter. Also, rate of e-commerce sales growth declined sequentially in the quarter. This was Walmart's biggest percentage decline in a single day since January 1988.

Such an event weighed on the broader market and Dow in particular shed 254 points to finish in the red, ending its six-day streak of gains. Moreover, the blue-chip index also fell below its 50-day moving average.

How Did other Major Benchmarks Perform?

Walmart was also the biggest drag on the S&P 500.The S&P 500 declined 16 points to also snap six-day streak of gains. Of the 11 major segments of the S&P 500, only one ended in positive territory. While the laggards were led by theconsumer staples sector, tech sector managed only meager gains. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) declined 2.3%, whereas the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) notched up only 0.1% on Monday.

This marked the S&P 500's first close in negative territory in the last seven sessions. Further, the broader index broke below its 50-day moving average. However, losses for Target TGT , Kroger KR and Kraft Heinz KHC also weighed on the S&P 500. Shares of Target, Kroger and Kraft Heinz declined 3%, 4.2% and 3%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Nasdaq 5.2 points to also finish in the red. Gains for the tech-laden index were rather broad-based. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Rise in Bond Yields Weigh on Equities

After hitting its highest levels since 2014 last week, the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note surged to 2.9% on Monday. Further, the short-term two-year yield lingered around a nine-year high. Such a spike in interest rates stole the sheen off equity stocks and led to broad based losses for the equity markets.

Moreover, a surge in interest rates also instilled fresh inflation-related worries among investors. A surge in interest rate is seen as an indication of a possible rate hike by the Fed as benchmark interest rate lead to a spike in inflation. Such an event dampened investors' sentiments.

Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies

It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +18.8% from 2016 - Q1 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +157.0%, +128.0%, +97.8%, +94.7%, and +90.2% respectively.

And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - Q1 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 11X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.

See Them Free>>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC): Free Stock Analysis Report

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Target Corporation (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Kroger Company (The) (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

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

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

In This Story


Other Topics

US Markets

Latest Markets Videos


Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

Learn More