S&P 500 closes lower as investors digest Feb’s losses

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The S&P 500 fell overnight, as traders struggled to recover their footing following a losing month and that bond yields have continued their climb. The moves came as bond yields extended their February gains, with the benchmark 10-year yield briefly topping 4 per cent for the first time since November. The 1-year Treasury yield rose above 5 per cent.

Stocks moved off their lows of the session as the 10-year rate pulled back. It was last trading at about 3.98 per cent.

The S&P500 fell 0.47 per cent. while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.66 per cent. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day just above the flatline.

Stock market sentiment initially got a boost after the release of much stronger-than-expected data out of China. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics said its official manufacturing PMI rose to 52.6 in February – a high not seen since April 2012.

However, stocks were then negatively impacted by new data released on US manufacturing activity showing that the ISM manufacturing index was 47.7 in February, indicating a contraction in factory output for the fourth consecutive month. A reading below 50 counts is seen as a pullback in activity, while a reading above is considered an expansion.

US dividends reached an all-time high in 2022. US companies paid out a record high of $574.2 billion in dividends in 2022, a 7.6 per cent increase from the previous year. Oil producers were a large contributor to this on the back of soaring energy prices. Globally, dividends rose to a record $1.56 trillion, an 8.4 per cent increase. Growth is, however, expected to slow down this year due to continual interest rate hikes.

In company news, Rivian Automotive's shares dropped nearly 18 per cent after reports of job cuts to conserve cash, a recall, and Q4 revenue missing expectations. This erased year-to-date gains, leaving the stock down over 10 per cent in 2023.

General Motors is planning to cut executive-level and salaried positions as part of a cost-cutting effort to achieve $2 billion in savings over the next two years.

Shares in vaccine developer, Novavax, has dropped by almost 26 per cent, after reports that the company is facing serious financial trouble — and has even warned it may not be able to survive.This comes after the company was able to post huge gains for the past three years at the height of the pandemic.

Overnight, most S&P500 sectors closed lower. Energy however happened to achieve big gains, closing 1.93 per cent higher, whilst Real estate and utilities were the biggest laggards.

The Russian rouble has fallen to its weakest level in 10 months, losing around 20 per cent of its value since the start of December, as western sanctions, Moscow’s decreasing energy revenues and high military spending exert pressure on the currency.

With capital controls in place and foreign trading in the currency largely moribund, analysts said the value of the currency no longer reflected a forward-looking assessment of the state of the economy but more of a short-term snapshot.

The SPI futures are pointing to a flat start.


One Australian dollar at 8:10 AM has strengthened compared to the US dollar yesterday buying 67.55 US cents (Wed: 67.28 US cents).


Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.9 per cent gain. Iron ore is 2.2 per cent higher at US$126.80 tonne.

Gold added 0.4 per cent. Silver climbed 0.1 per cent. Copper gained 1.9 per cent and oil was up 0.9 per cent.

Figures around the globe

Across the Atlantic, European markets closed mixed. London’s FTSE added 0.5 per cent, Frankfurt lost 0.4 per cent while Paris closed 0.5 per cent lower.

In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 4.2 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1 per cent higher.

Yesterday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.1 per cent lower at 7251.60.


Austco Healthcare (ASX:AHC) is paying 0.175 cents fully franked
Advance Zinctek (ASX:ANO) is paying 6cents unfranked
Ashley Services Group (ASX:ASH) is paying 3 cents fully franked
Baby Bunting Group (ASX:BBN) is paying 2.7 cents fully franked
Beacon Lighting Group (ASX:BLX) is paying 4.3 cents fully franked
Capral (ASX:CAA) is paying 50 cents fully franked
Centrepoint Alliance (ASX:CAF) is paying 1.0 cents fully franked
Coles Group (ASX:COL) is paying 36 cents fully franked
Dalrymple Bay (ASX:DBI) is paying 5.025cents unfranked
Eumundi Group (ASX:EBG) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked
Ebos Group (ASX:EBO) is paying 42.591 cents 95.77 per cent franked
GR Engineering (ASX:GNG) is paying 9 cents fully franked
Integral Diagnostics (ASX:IDX) is paying 2.5 cents fully franked
Infomedia (ASX:IFM) is paying 2.2 cents 36 per cent franked
InvoCare (ASX:IVC) is paying 11 cents fully franked
Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) is paying 23 cents fully franked
Kelsian Group (ASX:KLS) is paying 7.5 cents fully franked
Maggie Beer Holdings (ASX:MBH) is paying 0.5 cents fully franked
Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) is paying 6.3 cents fully franked
Mayfield Group (ASX:MYG) is paying 0.71 cents fully franked
NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) is paying 13 cents fully franked
Probiotec (ASX:PBP) is paying 3 cents fully franked
Propel Funeral (ASX:PFP) is paying 7.1 cents fully franked
Pilbara Min (ASX:PLS) is paying 11 cents fully franked
Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) is paying 13 cents fully franked
Pinnacle Investment (ASX:PNI) is paying 15.6 cents fully franked
Platinum Asset (ASX:PTM) is paying 7 cents fully franked
Skycity Ent Group (ASX:SKC) is paying 5.5044cents unfranked
Silk Logistics (ASX:SLH) is paying 5.27 cents fully franked
SSR Mining Inc (ASX:SSR) is paying 7.6766cents unfranked
Teaminvest Private (ASX:TIP) is paying 0.275 cents fully franked
Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) is paying 46 cents fully franked

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.


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