Stock Selloff Deepens After Powell's Hawkish Tone

The Dow is 517 points lower at the midway mark

The major indexes are extending their morning losses midday, following the highly anticipated comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole symposium. The central bank leader said more rate hikes are on the way as the Fed continues to combat inflation, adding that “restoring price stability will likely require maintaining a restrictive policy stance for some time.”

There’s been a slew of economic data to unpack on Friday too, including the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index’s first monthly drop in over two years, while the core PCE saw a slimmer-than-expected jump for July. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, meanwhile, came in above expectations. In response, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is eyeing an 517-point drop and its second-straight weekly loss. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are headed for daily and weekly losses as well. 

Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:

  • A roundtable addressing gender equality and the stock market. 
  • How First Solar stock nabbed an 11-year high. 
  • Plus, options bulls blast BIDU ahead of earnings; and two Nasdaq newbies making big moves.

Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) is seeing a surge in bullish options activity today, with call volume running at three times the intraday average and 10,000 contracts exchanged so far. Most popular is the September 165 call, followed by the weekly 8/26 call, with new positions being bought to open at both. BIDU was last seen down 0.8% at $149.78, as the Chinese company gears up for its second-quarter earnings report, due out before the open next week on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The stock has surged more than 18% this week, putting it at a slim 2.4% year-to-date lead. 

Jianzhi Century Tchnlgy Grp Co Ltd – ADR (NASDAQ:JZ) is one of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today, last seen up a whopping 1,160% at $63 after its Wall Street debut. The China-based education company priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $25 million, or $5 per American Depositary Shares (ADSs).Earlier, the security traded as high as $186.01. 

Onfolio Holdings (NASDAQ:ONFO) is one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today, down 40.5% at $2.97 at last glance. The business support stock made its Nasdaq debut yesterday, announcing the pricing of its IPO of $2,753,750 units at $5 per unit. 

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