Stock Market Today: Stocks Slide as Investors Wait on Nvidia Earnings and Fed Minutes cover

Stock Market Today: Stocks Slide as Investors Wait on Nvidia Earnings and Fed Minutes

Stocks were lower this Wednesday, February 21st, as investors nervously waited on key events that could shape the near-term market direction. The S&P 500 lost 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.4%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite led the declines with a 0.5% drop.

High-Stakes Earnings and Fed Minutes in Focus

Today all eyes are firmly on chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA), whose shares fell 4% pre-market ahead of their highly-anticipated earnings report. Expectations are high for the company's fourth-quarter results. The company is seen as a pacesetter for the AI industry and potentially a turning point for the broader market. A disappointing report could send shockwaves through tech stocks, especially after mixed earnings from retail giants Home Depot and Walmart yesterday.

Adding to the market's jitters is the upcoming release of the Federal Reserve's January meeting minutes. Investors are watching for clues about the central bank's stance on future interest rate hikes, particularly with recent economic data casting doubt on a June rate cut.

Other Notable Movers:

  • Palo Alto Networks (PANW) plunged over 25% after cutting its annual revenue forecast, raising concerns about a slowdown in tech spending.
  • Walgreens (WBA) lost 3% after being removed from the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average in favor of Amazon (AMZN).

Looking Ahead

Thursday's trading session will be important as investors digest Nvidia's earnings that come after the bell today and the Fed minutes. A strong report from Nvidia could ease some concerns and potentially trigger a rebound, while any negative surprises could further dampen sentiment. Additionally, major economic data points like the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index on Friday could provide further guidance on the Federal Reserve's policy path.