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The major averages fell on Tuesday to round out a tough month for the stock market.
Despite a solid start to the year, the major indexes are on pace for their second negative month in three.
The Dow is down 4 per cent for the month and has dipped 1 per cent year to date. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have lost about 2.5 per cent and 1 per cent in February, respectively, but are still higher year-to-date.
However, a sharp jump in Treasury yields this month dented investor sentiment for stocks, as traders feared that higher Federal Reserve rates would remain in place for longer.
Overnight the blue-chip average lost about 232 points, or 0.7 per cent, while the S&P 500 shed 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1 per cent.Tuesday marks the last day of February.
In company news, media mogul Rupert Murdoch admitted under oath that Fox News hosts, including Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, "endorsed" false claims about the 2020 election being stolen. This was revealed in a legal filing by Dominion Voting Systems, which is suing Fox for $1.6 billion for defamation over the claims. Murdoch stated that he would have liked Fox to have been stronger in denouncing these claims. However, Fox maintains that they were newsworthy.
Meta continues to invest in machine learning and AI to improve its advertising technology in response to Apple's privacy changes. These changes require apps to obtain user permission before tracking them and serving personalised ads. Meta claims to have lost approximately $10 billion in revenue in the nine months following Apple's privacy changes. Meta's efforts to improve its advertising technology have resulted in better outcomes for brands, but some marketers are concerned that they may be giving up too much control to the social media giant.
In commodity news, battery metals have cooled. The prices of cobalt and lithium have significantly dropped in the past few months due to easing supply bottlenecks and a decline in demand from China's electric vehicle and global consumer electronics industries. The preference for cheaper nickel-rich batteries over cobalt-rich ones has also contributed to the drop in cobalt demand. Although the long-term outlook for lithium demand remains positive, the supply of electric vehicles may exceed demand if expensive purchases in Europe and the US are avoided.
Gold and silver recorded their worst monthly performances in more than a year, with gold down 5.58 per cent for February, the worst month for the metal since June 2021, and silver posting its worst month since 2020, ending February down 11.6 per cent. Silver's last bigger monthly drop was seen in September 2020.
Overnight, S&P 500 sectors finished mostly lower. Materials and Communication Services were the biggest winners, whilst Utilities was the biggest laggard.
The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar at 8:10 AM has lowered compared to the US dollar yesterday buying 67.28 US cents (Tue: 67.38 US cents).
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.2 per cent gain.
Gold added 0.5 per cent. Silver climbed 1.1 per cent. Copper gained 1.6 per cent and oil was up 1.5 per cent.
Figures around the globe
Across the Atlantic, European markets closed lower. London’s FTSE fell 0.7 per cent, Frankfurt lost 0.1 per cent while Paris closed 0.4 per cent lower.
In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.8 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.7 per cent higher.
Yesterday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.5 per cent higher at 7258.40.
Australian Ethical (ASX:AEF) is paying 2 cents fully franked
AMP (ASX:AMP) is paying 2.5 cents 20 per cent franked
AUB Group (ASX:AUB) is paying 17 cents fully franked
Bell Financial Group (ASX:BFG) is paying 4.5 cents fully franked
Capitol Health (ASX:CAJ) is paying 0.5 cents fully franked
CTI Logistics (ASX:CLX) is paying 5 cents fully franked
FSA Group (ASX:FSA) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked
Gold Road Res (ASX:GOR) is paying 0.5 cents fully franked
HMC Capital (ASX:HMC) is paying 6 cents fully franked
Humm Group (ASX:HUM) is paying 1 cents fully franked
Link Admin Hldg (ASX:LNK) is paying 4.5 cents 80 per cent franked
Maxiparts (ASX:MXI) is paying 3.17 cents fully franked
NB Global Corporate Income Trust (ASX:NBI) is paying 0.7111 cents unfranked
Ooh!Media (ASX:OML) is paying 3 cents fully franked
Orora (ASX:ORA) is paying 8.5 cents unfranked
Pengana Capital (ASX:PCG) is paying 2 cents fully franked
Partners Grp Global (ASX:PGG) is paying 1.2146 cents unfranked
Servcorp (ASX:SRV) is paying 10 cents unfranked
Shaver Shop Grp (ASX:SSG) is paying 4.7 cents fully franked
Solvar (ASX:SVR) is paying 7.5 cents fully franked
The Lottery Corp (ASX:TLC) is paying 8 cents fully franked
Telstra Group (ASX:TLS) is paying 8.5 cents fully franked
Ventia Services Group (ASX:VNT) is paying 8.28 cents 80 per cent franked
Dicker Data (ASX:DDR)
National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR)
Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.
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Source: Finance News Network