What a dreary afternoon. It seems that Treasury yield concerns gave investors a punch in the gut as we look to wrap up the week. So what else did the stock market do today? And what do you need to know? You can dive in with InvestorPlace below.
To start, the major indices all ended the day in the red. The S&P 500 shed 1.48%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.46%. The Nasdaq Composite had a particularly rough day, shedding 3.02%.
So what else did the stock market do today? Take a look at these three top stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Sell Tech Stocks.
The band-aid from the Federal Reserve only held up for so long. On Thursday, the major indices sold off, but the Nasdaq Composite had a particularly rough time. The tech-heavy index dropped more than 3%, making it the worst day in approximately three weeks for the benchmark.
Yesterday, investors were thankful to hear comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, and stocks reflected that relief. Powell worked to strike a balance between an ongoing need for aggressive accommodative policy and improving economic conditions. His comments on inflation seemed to at least momentarily assuage concerns, sending speculative stocks and cryptocurrencies on a late-day rally.
However, that optimism hit a few roadblocks today.
Investors learned this morning that despite easing Covid-19 restrictions, unemployment remains stubbornly high. Over the past week, 770,000 Americans filed for initial jobless benefits. This came in worse than expectations for 700,000 claims, and is also higher than last week. Wall Street is looking for a meaningful improvement in these weekly reports, especially as the U.S. pushes forward with the vaccine rollout.
Plus, the 10-year U.S. Treasury note swept in and slammed tech stocks. Yields raced as high as 1.74%, more than a one-year high. As the story goes, rising yields hit tech stocks hard, bringing the Nasdaq to its recent low. Losers today included Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).
Red-Hot EV Stocks End Up in the Red
There was a point not too long ago that electric vehicle stocks could commit no wrongs.
Those days may be over, as evidenced by recent moves in a few popular companies. Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ:RIDE), the startup promising to launch its Endurance pickup, was slammed by a short-seller report last week. Hindenburg Research thinks it is far away from its production targets, and also calls into question its preorder logs. Lordstown acknowledged yesterday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into the report. For RIDE, this has served a painful blow. Shares closed lower Thursday by more than 13%.
And unfortunately for Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS), this move in RIDE stock did not happen in isolation. Workhorse, a company offering electric vehicles for last-mile deliveries, has a stake in Lordstown. This means it has suffered along with Lordstown, although Workhorse has some of its own problems. Shares are still in a rough patch after the company lost its bid to electrify the United States Postal Service.
Lastly, Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) once again found itself in troubled waters. Although the company has been working to recover from its own short-seller attack, recent news has not been favorable. Today investors learned that one of its early investors had sold their stake, raising concerns about its future.
Keep a close eye on these EV stocks. We could see an uptick in shares as risk sentiment changes again.
Reddit Stocks Are Looking for a ‘Stimmy’ Boost
Stimulus checks started rolling out in full force yesterday, and retail investors are paying attention.
According to the Washington Post, the Internal Revenue Service told financial institutions to expect $242.2 billion worth of stimulus payments on March 17. Tomorrow, March 19, another round of direct payments will be making their way to Americans via paper check.
While this is overall a boost for the economy, investors see a few distinct upside catalysts in the third round of Covid-19 payments. The first is simply that consumers will have more money to spend. For folks on r/WallStreetBets, the hope is that those consumers will use it to hit mall retailers, movie theaters or even buy a new video game. This spending spree, if all goes as planned, would impact names like GameStop (NYSE:GME) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC). Other Reddit stocks like Express (NYSE:EXPR) could also see a boost.
The second catalyst is even more direct. Earlier rounds of stimulus payments brought new investors to trading platforms like Robinhood. With a little bit of extra money to spend, could retail investors be diving into their favorite names over the next few days? Although stricter income caps on the third round of payments will lower the amount of Americans receiving checks, economists are still waiting for a Reddit stocks boost.
As we get ready for the weekend, be sure to keep an eye on this narrative.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.