What Drove Stocks Lower Wednesday

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Markets ended lower Wednesday, losing earlier gains as commentary from the Fed minutes dampened investor sentiment into the close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 85.19 points or 0.31%, the Nasdaq ended down 64.38 points or 0.57% and the S&P 500 closed down 14.93 points or 0.44%

Markets initially rose on strong earnings from Lowe’s and Target as well as a major benchmark met by Apple. 

Though Apple closed lower, the tech giant crossed the psychologically important level needed to mark a $2 trillion market capitalization in intraday trading. Jim Cramer attributed the move to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s vast understanding of the consumer.

Denting sentiment, however, was less than positive news out of the Fed when the minutes from the central bank’s July meeting were released. The Fed said it expects the coronavirus pandemic to “weigh heavily” on the economy through the near-term, possibly extending into the medium term. Though current stability was noted, some Fed members also expressed concerns the pandemic remains a serious threat to financial systems. 

Though the S&P 500 marked an all-time high Tuesday and saw an additional intraday high in early trading Wednesday, numerous market headwinds exist. Cramer listed stalled stimulus and increasing political rhetoric as the November presidential election approaches among the risks keeping investors awake at night. 

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