S&P 500 falls again after failing to recapture the 4,600 level, now down more than 4.0% on the year

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  • US stocks fell again on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 failing to recover 4,600 and down more than 4.0% in 2022.
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.2% and the Dow fell 0.3%.

US stock markets have been under modest selling pressure on Wednesday, with market commentators citing continued fears about the Fed tightening and higher interest rates, but also describing the day as one of consolidation. The S&P 500 fell around 0.1% to trade near 4,570, after hitting new weekly and yearly lows at 4,560, with traders eyeing a test of the 4,530 lows hit on Dec 20. The index tried but failed to recover above 4,600. For the week, the index is now down around 2.0%, taking losses for the year to around 4.3%. Sector performance was mixed, but indicative of a defensive bias, given outperformance in the S&P 500 GICS consumer staples (+1.2%) and utilities (+0.9%) sectors.

The S&P 500 GICS financials were the worst performer, shedding about 1.1% as US yields retreated from recent highs (the 10-year bond was down about 4bps at 1.83%) and after recent negative earnings. To be fair, fourth quarter results from Morgan Stanley (+2.2%) and Bank of America (+0.8%) were better received, but not enough to turn the tide for the sector. Meanwhile, the easing in yields gave the recently battered tech sector some breathing room. Despite the recent rise in crude oil prices, the energy sector was broadly flat.

As for the other major US indices, the Dow was down just over 0.3% while the Nasdaq 100 remained sideways, with the latter recovering to 15,200 after posting new 2022 lows below 15,150. . The indices are down just under 3.0% and almost 7.0% respectively for the year. In a sign of further turmoil ahead, the S&P 500 CBOE or VIX volatility index hit new highs for the year just below 24.0, substantially above this year’s opening levels of 16.0. The VIX remains well below its post-Omicron highs near 36.0.

Additional technical levels

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