Stock Market Today: Stocks Slump On Interest Rate Worries

The major indexes finished lower for a second straight day on hawkish talk from a Fed official.

red stock market chart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The market was positive in early trading Thursday, helped by a slate of positive corporate news from the likes of Walt Disney (DIS), Telsa (TSLA) and AstraZeneca (AZN). But the major benchmarks lost ground once again as worries about rising interest rates more than offset upbeat developments from some of the market's biggest and best-known names.

On Thursday it was Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin's turn to throw water on any hopes for a more dovish turn in monetary policy. The Fed official reiterated in an interview the importance "staying the course" in order to return inflation to the central bank's 2% target. 

With anxiety rising about the possibility of a Fed-induced recession, stocks reversed course even as a number of companies reported upbeat news.

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Dow component Walt Disney beat Wall Street's earnings estimates and said it would cut costs dramatically. The company announced a plan to eliminate about 7,000 jobs, ending its fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Partners. Additionally, Disney CEO Bob Iger said he would ask the board to reinstate the dividend, which was suspended in early 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Shares in Disney gained more than 5% at one point in early trades, but faded late in the session to finish down 1.3%.

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Elsewhere, Tesla (+3.0%) caught a bid after CEO Elon Musk said the electric-vehicle company's "Master Plan 3" would be unveiled at the company’s annual meeting on March 1. Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (+4.8%) did its part to help lift traders' spirits by offering a strong 2023 fiscal outlook.

By the closing bell, however, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7% to 33,699, while the broader S&P 500 declined 0.9% to 4,081. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.0% to finish at 11,789.

Stocks With the Highest Yields in the S&P 500 

Blue-chip dividend stocks never go out of style – at least not for patient investors. After all, the best Dow dividend stocks have a habit of outperforming the broader market when it's in a funk. The best dividend stocks for long-term dividend growth have likewise worked well during the current bear market.

But equity investors with shorter horizons probably want names with higher dividend yields. That's where the stocks with the highest yields in the S&P 500 come in. These names boast yields of more than 6% to greater than 11% – and have the imprimatur of the main U.S. equity benchmark to boot.    

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.