Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow has declined 1% or more five times in 2018, more than all of 2017.
  • After Wednesday's close the Dow remains more than 1,800 points below its record high set on Jan. 26.
  • After Wednesday's close the S&P 500 remains more than 170 points below its record higher set on Jan. 26. 

Wall Street Overview

Stocks initially jumped higher Wednesday, Feb. 21, after the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting last month, but then declined sharply. The minutes indicate that the Fed sees further rate hikes ahead amid strong economic growth and a rise in inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 166 points, or 0.67%. The S&P 500 declined 0.55% and the Nasdaq fell 0.22%. 

The minutes from the Federal Reserve's Jan. 31 meeting were released at 2 p.m. ET. They were released amid one of the busiest three-day stretches in U.S. bond market history. The Treasury plans to raise just under $260 billion in a series of auctions designed to fund a portion of the nation's surging deficit, which analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. suggested could hit 5.2% of GDP by 2019.

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The massive wave of supply -- the second-largest three-day sale on record -- had benchmark 10-year yields trading above 2.95% on Wednesday.

Stocks fell on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and a sharp slump for Walmart Inc. (WMT) ended a six-day winning streak for the Dow and the S&P 500.

Walmart was down 2.6% on Wednesday. 

Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO) said Wednesday it was lowering its hostile takeover bid for Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)  to $79 a share from $82 after Qualcomm on Tuesday raised its bid for NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI) .

Broadcom slipped slightly on Wednesday while shares of Qualcomm declined nearly 1%.

Dish Network Corp. (DISH) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.64 a share, up from 73 cents a year earlier. The latest period included an income tax benefit of about $1.2 billion. Revenue in the quarter was $3.48 billion, down from year-earlier revenue of $3.75 billion, and below estimates of $3.53 billion. 

Dish said the number of its satellite TV subscribers fell 9.4% in the quarter to 13.2 million. Dish shares fell 3%.

Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) posted fourth-quarter earnings of 79 cents a share; analysts expected 75 cents. Revenue rose 3.2% to $888.5 million. The stock fell 4.6%.

Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) tumbled 11% after fourth-quarter earnings came in weaker than expected and the energy company issued weak production guidance for 2018.

LendingClub Corp. (LC) fell 5% after its adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter came in below analysts' estimates. 

Barington Capital's Jim Mitarotonda on Wednesday launched an activist campaign at Bloomin' Brands Inc. (BLMN)  urging the Outback Steakhouse owner to spin off three smaller restaurant chains it owns. The stock rose 5%.

Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) said Wednesday it has changed its name to Booking Holdings Inc. The stock will begin trading under ticker symbol "BKNG" beginning Feb. 27.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that existing home sales in January dropped 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million units. It was the second straight month that existing home sales have declined.

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