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S&P 500 Gains and Losses Today: Index Drops After Powell Reiterates Cautious Stance

A chart shows the companies in the S&P 500 that gained and lost the most on Feb. 5, 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • The S&P 500 fell 0.3% on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the central bank will remain cautious as it considers interest rate cuts.
  • Air Products and Chemicals shares plunged after the industrial gas provider reported disappointing quarterly results affected by a manufacturing slowdown in China.
  • Cosmetics maker Estee Lauder topped earnings forecasts and announced it would cut jobs as part of a restructuring plan.
U.S. equities posted losses to open the week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stressed in an interview airing over the weekend that the central bank would exercise caution as it considers potential interest rate cuts.
The S&P 500 closed Monday's session 0.3% lower, while the Dow and the Nasdaq were down 0.7% and 0.2%, respectively.

Air Products and Chemicals (APD) turned in Monday's weakest performance on the S&P 500. Shares plummeted 15.6% after the provider of industrial gases reported worse-than-expected sales and profits for its fiscal first quarter of 2024. A slowdown in manufacturing in China, reduced demand for helium, and the devaluation of the Argentine peso hurt the quarterly results.

Match Group (MTCH)—parent company of Tinder, Bumble, and other online dating platforms—saw its shares sink 5.2%. Although the company beat profit estimates for the fourth quarter when it reported results last week, one area of concern could be the ability to attract fresh profiles and swipers, as Tinder reported a year-over-year decline in global daily new users.

Shares of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) tumbled 4.9% following reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating accounting practices at the agricultural firm. The company announced in January it was placing its chief financial officer (CFO) on leave while it conducted an internal probe into accounting issues at its nutrition division.

Monday's top performance on the S&P 500 came from cosmetics company Estee Lauder (EL). Shares soared 12.1% after the makeup maker's revenue and earnings per share (EPS) for the recent quarter exceeded forecasts. The company also announced that it would reduce its workforce by 3% to 5% as part of a restructuring plan aimed at managing expenses.

Shares of ON Semiconductor (ON) jumped 9.5% as the provider of intelligent sensors beat estimates with its fourth-quarter sales and profits. Although guidance for the current quarter came in slightly below consensus forecasts, the CEO highlighted strength in ON's silicon carbide solutions segment.

Catalent (CTLT) shares gained 9.7% following news that the majority owner of Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk (NVO) would buy the company. Catalent manufactures injection pens used to deliver Wegovy, the popular weight-loss drug produced by Novo Nordisk.

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