Chip Stocks Tumbled on Fed Minutes. Intel Was an Exception.

 Chip Stocks Tumbled on Fed Minutes. Intel Was an Exception.

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Semiconductor stocks turned even lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting minutes turned out to be more hawkish than expected.

 The minutes signaled that the central bank could raise interest rates earlier and at quicker pace to tame rising inflation, while officials also started to discuss how to reduce the Fed’s massive balance sheet. The hawkish tone of the minutes spooked investors, sending


the S&P 500

down 1.9%. The tech-heavy


Nasdaq Composite

slid 3.3%.


Intel,
however, was a notable exception.


Intel
stock (ticker: INTC) rose 1.4% to $53.87, even after the Fed minutes sent other stocks lower. Northland Capital Markets analyst Gus Richard upgraded Intel stock to Outperform from Market Perform in a recent note, helping the shares buck Wednesday’s broader market slump. “For the first time in many years, we think Intel is starting to execute,” Richard said, according to MarketWatch.

The rest of the sector, however, reflected tech companies’ sensitivity to rising interest rates, which make future earnings worth less today. The


PHLX Semiconductor Index,

or Sox, was down about 3.2% on Wednesday. Shares of


Nvidia
(ticker: NVDA) and


Advanced Micro Devices
(AMD) slid more than 5% to $276.04 and $136.15, respectively. Both companies, after strong performances in 2021, failed to dazzle investors enough with CES 2022 presentations to send shares even higher this week.


Micron Technology
stock (MU), which earlier in the day set an intraday record at $98.45, ended the session down 2% at $94.40. Shares of


Qualcomm
(QCOM), which were up more than 3% earlier, fell 0.4% to close at $186.50.

Write to Connor Smith at connor.smith@barrons.com

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