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Wall Street drops as Apple, energy stocks weigh

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wall Street’s main indexes fell on the first trading day of the year following declines in Apple and energy stocks, with investors awaiting the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes for further clarity on the path of future interest rate hikes.

Most of the major S&P 500 sectors were in the red, with information technology stocks (.SPLRCT) pulled lower by a 3% drop in the shares of iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O) following a report of a rating downgrade by Exane BNP Paribas.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) fell nearly 10% as the electric-vehicle maker missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly deliveries.

Other rate-sensitive technology and growth stocks such as Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Inc (AMZN.O) were up between 0.6% and 2.0%.

The energy sector, which logged stellar gains in 2022, fell 1.2% tracking oil prices lower on bleak business activity data from China as well as concerns about the global economic outlook.

“The market, like today, is not very much about fundamentals or news, it’s more about the emotion of a start of a new year and investors trying to decide if a recovery is in front of them,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

The main U.S. stock indexes ended 2022 with their steepest annual losses since 2008 against the backdrop of the Fed’s fastest pace of rate hikes since the 1980s.

The S&P 500 shed 19.4% in 2022, marking a roughly $8 trillion decline in market cap, while the Nasdaq fell 33.1%, dragged down by growth stocks.

Investors on Wednesday will closely monitor the minutes of the Fed’s December policy meeting, when the central bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points after four back-to-back 75-bps hikes and signaled rates could stay higher for a while.

Other economic data due this week includes December’s nonfarm payrolls report as well as the ISM manufacturing report, which will give further clues on the strength of the economy and the labor market.

Money market participants see a 68.8% chance the Fed will raise the benchmark rate by 25 bps to 4.50%-4.75% in February, with the rates peaking at 4.94% by June.

At 10:48 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was down 24.82 points, or 0.07%, at 33,122.43, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was down 9.92 points, or 0.26%, at 3,829.58, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was down 58.43 points, or 0.56%, at 10,408.05.

U.S.-listed Chinese firms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , Inc , Pinduoduo Inc (PDD.O) rose between 3% and 6% on post-COVID recovery hopes.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.85-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.57-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 73 new highs and 23 new lows.