Stocks fell on Thursday as the market selloff continued following yet another failed attempt at a turnaround saw the Dow fall for its sixth-straight day.
The Dow Jones Industrials came off its lows of the day, but still finished negative 103.81 points to 31,730.30.
The S&P 500 slid 5.1 points to 3,930.08. The S&P 500 hit a new low for 2022, closing more than 18% off its 52-week high and steering closer toward bear market territory.
The NASDAQ Composite overcame all the gloom and forged ahead 6.73 points to 11,370.96.
All the major averages closed the session on track for weekly losses.
Some heavily shorted names led the brief rally from earlier in the day and continued to trade higher. Shares of Lucid popped 13.2% while
GameStop and AMC jumped more than 30% and 20%, before pulling back gains. Rivian Automotive also soared about 18% after reporting its latest quarterly results and Carvana, which hit a two-year low earlier in the session, surged more nearly 25%.
While it was unclear what was driving gains from Lucid, GameStop and AMC, it could mean a short squeeze was taking place, where hedge funds that have profited from the steep losses in overvalued pandemic winners this year were finally closing out their short positions by buying back the shares.
Short selling is a tactic where funds sell shares that are borrowed from investment banks and so in order to close the trade they need to buy the stocks and return them. A short squeeze is a rally that results from that buying.
Apple lost 2.7%, pushing the shares into bear market territory — down 22% from a 52-week-high. It came as Saudi Aramco surpassed the tech giant as the world’s most valuable company on Wednesday. Meanwhile, shares of Amazon and Meta Platforms closed up more than 1%.
Disney shares fell to a two-year low and closed about 0.9%. The media giant reported higher-than-expected streaming subscriber growth, but warned about the Covid impact on parks in Asia.
Fresh producer price index data, which measures prices at the wholesale level, rose 11% year over year. That number fell from March but came in above expectations and did little to shake fears of rising inflation.
Treasury prices gained sharply, with yields slumping to 2.86% from Wednesday’s 2.93%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices strengthened $1.04 at $106.75 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices tumbled $32.70 to $1,821 U.S. an ounce.