Stock market today: Dow ends flat as rates jump on signs disinflation losing steam

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Stock market today: Dow ends flat as rates jump on signs disinflation losing steam
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow closed flat Wednesday, as Treasury yields continued to advance on signs the disinflation in goods has run out of steam suggesting that the Fed's rate-hike path may be steeper than expected. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.02%, or 5 points, and S&P 500 fell 0.46%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.66%.

The February ISM Manufacturing PMI rose to 47.7 from 47.4, but a deeper dive into the data showed fresh signs of price pressures.

The prices paid index of the ISM manufacturing report “rose out of contraction to 51.3,” Jefferies said, pointing to signs that “the disinflationary trend in goods prices that was in place at the end of last year has run out of steam.”

Fresh signs of sticky inflation pushed Treasury yields sharply higher on bets that higher for longer interest rates are needed to cull inflation. The 10-year Treasury yield topped 4% for the first since November, keeping tech stocks in the firing line and extending the slump seen in February.

On the earnings front, Lowe’s Companies Inc (NYSE: LOW ) fell nearly 6% after the home improvement retailer reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed Wall Street estimates and annual sales guidance that also surprised to the downside.

“[W]e note weaker than expected ongoing sales trends that are set to persist, a sharp decline in credit income achieved in the quarter, and a margin outlook that remains muted relative to history,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Electric vehicle stocks were also in focus as Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) kicks off its investor day, with the EV maker expected to lay out its Master Plan 3 and provide insights about its long-term growth plan.

“This next ‘Master Plan’ from Musk will give further insight into the broader strategic roadmap looking ahead and lays the foundation for the next decade for Tesla with the green tidal wave hitting globally on the shift to EVs,” Wedbush said.

Rival EV maker Rivian Automotive Inc (NASDAQ: RIVN ) reported mixed fourth-quarter results as revenue missed estimates, and annual production also fell shy of Wall Street expectations, sending it down more than 18%.

In other news, 3M Company (NYSE: MMM ), a major Dow component, gained more than 2% as data from the Department of Defense records showed the vast majority of claimants in Combat Arms earplug litigation had “normal hearing.”

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