The three major U.S. equities indexes closed lower on Wednesday for the second day in a row. The Nasdaq closed down more than 1%, while the Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 closed down by nearly 1% each. Among S&P 500 stocks, losers outnumbered winners by more than 3 to 1 in Wednesday’s trading. Nine of 11 sectors closed lower, led by consumer cyclicals (down 1.8%), financials (down 1.7%) and technology (down 1.4%). Defensive sectors consumer staples (up 0.7%) and utilities (up 0.5%) closed higher.
Crude oil settled at $86.96 on Wednesday and traded down about 0.2% in early morning trading Thursday at $86.79. The 10-year/two-year U.S. Treasury note spread ended the day at 0.798%.
Here are the five S&P 500 stocks that closed with the biggest gains on Wednesday: Take-Two Interactive (up 6.05%), Newmont Mining (6.04%), Citrix Systems (3.66%), Procter & Gamble (3.36%) and Sealed Air Corp. (3.33%).
Wednesday’s biggest losers among S&P 500 stocks were Ford (down 7.92%), US Bank (7.75%) State Street (7.06%), Moderna (6.72%) and Applied Materials (6.10%).
As of 8:30 a.m. ET, the leading gainer among S&P 500 stocks in Thursday’s premarket trading was Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE), up 2.71% at $70.50. The packaging company posted a new 52-week high Wednesday of $68.99 and traded up more than 8% in Thursday’s premarket.
Copper and gold miner Freeport-McMoRan Corp. (NYSE: FCX) traded up 2.04% in the premarket session at around $45.16. At Wednesday’s closing price of $44.08, the stock traded within 7% of its median price target of $47.
Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) traded up 1.8% in Thursday’s premarket, after closing down about 2.3% Wednesday at $16.65. Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock from Equal Weight to Underweight on Tuesday and cut its price target from $20 to $14.
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) traded up by 1.6% Thursday morning, after reporting quarterly results that beat analysts’ consensus estimates for both earnings per share and revenue.
Healthcare REIT Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) traded up about 1.56% in Thursday’s premarket. The company pays an annual dividend of $2.64 per share for a yield of around 2.85%.
Stocks trading lower in Thursday’s premarket session include Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF), which also reported quarterly results that missed on profit estimates and essentially matched revenue estimates.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) reported quarterly results after markets closed Wednesday and missed on both the top and bottom lines. The stock traded down about 2.7% in Thursday’s premarket.
WestRock Co. (NYSE: WRK), another packaging and container provider, traded down about 2.2% in the premarket session. The company is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on February 3.
International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP), a third packaging maker, also traded down Thursday morning. Shares were off by about 2.8% after closing at $49.35 on Wednesday.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) closed down nearly 8% on Wednesday following an update on its quarterly report due out in two weeks. Analysts at Jefferies also downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold, while raising the price target from $22 to $25.
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