Markets Waver at Midday as Fed Chair Powell Says Inflation ‘Is Still Too High’

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Key Takeaways

  • U.S. equities moved between gains and losses at midday on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 amid concerns about whether the Fed would continue to raise interest rates as Fed Chair Powell said inflation remains too high.
  • Tesla shares tumbled as falling demand and price cuts hurt profit and sales at the EV maker.
  • Shares of Netflix soared as the streaming service provider reported a big jump in subscribers and a price hike.

U.S. equities wavered between gains and losses at midday amid concerns about whether the Fed would continue to raise interest rates, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell said inflation remains too high. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were little changed and slightly lower before turning higher.

Tesla (TSLA) shares sank after the electric vehicle (EV) giant missed profit and sales estimates as Elon Musk’s company slashed prices with demand falling.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (DFS) also slumped after the credit card provider’s profit plunged by a third as it faced more credit card delinquencies. Discover warned that there are indications of stress on consumers.

Genuine Parts (GFC) shares tumbled as the auto and industrial parts retailer’s revenue was below forecasts and same-store sales were flat.

Netflix (NFLX) was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 after the biggest streaming service got a big boost in subscribers and announced a price increase.

American Airlines (AAL) shares rose as the carrier beat earnings estimates and said bookings for the upcoming holiday season were stronger than in 2022.

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) jumped as Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos told clients the success of the online retailer’s Prime Day-like event in October could mean the stock might rise in the fourth quarter. 

Oil futures fell, and gold prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note neared 5%. The U.S. dollar lost ground to the euro, pound, and yen. Trading in major cryptocurrencies was mixed.

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