Stock Market Today: Relief Rally Fizzles Late

Treasury rates stabilized Wednesday, giving stocks some breathing room, but a modest comeback still wobbled into the finish.

concept art of stock movement
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The markets staged a slim, shaky rebound on a Wednesday that was light on data, with the gravitational pull of U.S. Treasuries' rate revival in plain sight.

A day after the 10-year Treasury yield reached 1.567%, putting a scare into the major indexes, it retreated to roughly 1.5% early on in the session ... but clawed its way back to 1.54% by the afternoon.

What did that do to equities?

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It put a lid on technology stocks (-0.1%), which finished with the day's second-worst sector performance. Instead, investors were interested in defense. Utility stocks (+1.5%), consumer staples (+0.9%) and healthcare (+0.8%) led the markets higher, with notable gains coming from the likes of Eli Lilly (LLY, +4.0%), Sempra Energy (SRE, +3.1%) and ConAgra (CAG, +3.0%).

Even so, the major indices coughed up much of the day's progress during the session's final hour. The result was small gains for the Dow (+0.3% to 34,390) and S&P 500 (+0.2% to 4,359), while the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished with a 0.2% loss to 14,512.

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Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 also slid into the red shortly before the close, giving up 0.2% to 2,225.
  • Dollar Tree (DLTR) surged 16.5% today after the discount retailer said it will begin offering products priced up to $5 in its Dollar Tree Plus stores and will test the $1+ price points in select legacy stores. DLTR also announced that its board of directors has authorized a $1.05 billion-boost to its share repurchase program, bringing the aggregate amount to $2.5 billion. Already in fiscal 2021, the company has repurchased $950 million of its shares, according to Michael Witynski, president and CEO of Dollar Tree.
  • Eyewear startup Warby Parker (WRBY) made a splash in its market debut. WRBY went public via a direct listing, an alternative to traditional initial public offerings (IPOs). WRBY stock opened at $54.05 per share, more than 35% above its $40 reference point. Shares gained a little more ground from there, finishing the day up 36.2% to $54.49. There's still a host of companies set to go public over the next several months. Here's a running list of the most anticipated IPOs for the rest of 2021.
  • U.S. crude oil futures slipped 0.6% to finish at $74.83 per share.
  • Gold futures shed 0.8% to settle at $1,722.90 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) pulled back 2.3% to 22.71.
  • Bitcoin prices slid 1.0% to $41.178.28. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)

stock chart for 092921

(Image credit: YCharts)

Can AI Really Pick Stocks?

We frequently keep tabs on the so-called smart money.

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Kyle Woodley

Kyle Woodley is the Editor-in-Chief of WealthUp, a site dedicated to improving the personal finances and financial literacy of people of all ages. He also writes the weekly The Weekend Tea newsletter, which covers both news and analysis about spending, saving, investing, the economy and more.

Kyle was previously the Senior Investing Editor for, and the Managing Editor for before that. His work has appeared in several outlets, including Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Barchart, The Globe & Mail and the Nasdaq. He also has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, among other shows and podcasts, and he has been quoted in several outlets, including MarketWatch, Vice and Univision. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism. 

You can check out his thoughts on the markets (and more) at @KyleWoodley.