Wall Street Drifts as November Momentum Fades in Early Trading

Wall Street

In early Wall Street trading, stocks showed little movement as the market’s robust November rally faced a slowdown. The S&P 500 saw a 0.1% decline, the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained relatively unchanged, and the Nasdaq composite dipped 0.1%. Treasury yields remained steady, and crude oil prices experienced a slight increase. Notable companies, including Intuit (parent company of TurboTax), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and NetApp, are set to release their latest quarterly results after the market closes. Additionally, a consumer confidence report is expected later in the morning.

In premarket trading, activity was subdued ahead of an upcoming inflation report and a survey gauging American consumer sentiment about the economy. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were virtually flat before the bell on Tuesday.

The Conference Board is scheduled to release an update on consumer confidence, which has been on a three-month decline. Economists anticipate a further drop in Americans’ confidence in the economy for November, potentially impacting businesses during the ongoing holiday shopping season.

On Thursday, the government will release October data on the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure. Economists expect a continued easing of this measure, consistent with trends observed since mid-2022.

Investors cautiously anticipate that a cooling inflation scenario will allow the Federal Reserve to conclude its aggressive interest rate hikes. Despite rising interest rates and inflation, the broader economy has shown resilience, avoiding a recession.

The focus on Wall Street remains on the Federal Reserve’s actions through the end of the year. The central bank has maintained its benchmark interest rate in the 5.25% to 5.50% range since its last quarter-point hike in July. There is growing investor expectation that the Fed may cut rates in mid-2024, aiming to balance inflation control without hindering economic growth.

Concerns about a slowdown in the U.S. economy and uncertainties in China are affecting sentiment. Following a slower-than-expected increase in U.S. new home sales in October, analysts anticipate a potential deterioration in consumer mood based on The Conference Board’s consumer confidence survey.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.1%, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1%. Chinese AI firm SenseTime faced a 4.9% decline after being accused of inflating revenue figures by Grizzly Research. However, SenseTime refuted the allegations, stating they were “without merit.”

South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.1%, the Shanghai Composite edged 0.2% higher, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4%, and India’s Sensex remained flat. In Europe, Germany’s DAX lost 0.1%, and France’s CAC 40 gave up 0.6%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4%.

In the bond market, Treasury yields showed uneven movement, with the 10-year Treasury inching up to 4.4%, and the 2-year Treasury falling to 4.87%. U.S. benchmark crude rose to $75.58 a barrel, and Brent crude gained to $80.61 a barrel in early Tuesday trading.

The U.S. dollar weakened against the Japanese yen, falling to 148.50 yen from 148.68 yen, while the euro slipped to $1.0952 from $1.0955. In Monday’s trading, the S&P 500 and Dow industrials both fell 0.2%, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%. The S&P 500 remains on track to conclude November as its best-performing month of the year.

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About the author: Stephanie Bedard-Chateauneuf has over six years of experience writing financial content for various websites. Over the years, Stephanie has covered various industries, with a primary focus on tech stocks, consumer stocks, health stocks, and personal finance. This stock lover likes to invest for the long-term. Stephanie has an MBA in finance.