Stock Market Plummets, 10-Year Yield Touches 4% to Kick Off March

The stock market closed lower on Wednesday to start March, as two Fed officials suggested a more aggressive rate-hiking campaign in the coming months. In addition, the benchmark 10-year yield moved upward and shortly touched 4% today.

Overall, S&P 500 fell 0.5% to 3,951, while NASDAQ declined 0.7% to 11,379.

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Chart of the Day

Here is the ten-year chart of Ecolab (ECL) as of February 22, 2023, when the stock was at $159.

Ecolab was founded in 1923 as Economics Laboratory and its 1st product was Absorbit which cleaned carpets on the spot and eliminated the need for hotels to be shut down to be cleaned. Today, it boasts more than 6000 patents and 1500 scientists who continue to innovate, creating new and better products. Ecolab works with 80% of the Fortune 500.

It’s been a challenging few years for cleaning chemical company Ecolab. Inflation in raw materials, freight, and energy costs have hampered profits, while COVID restrictions affected demand. ECL would have lost most of its 2022 EPS to cost inflation, but rebuilt almost all if it within the year. ECL’s prices were up 13% last qtr on a year-over-year basis.

Ecolab seems like a broken stock, as annual profits haven’t hit new highs since 2019, and the stock is showing no positive momentum.

ECL is part of the Conservative Growth Portfolio. Management believes the company can deliver low double-digit profit growth again, starting this year.

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