Wall Street Maintains Near Record Levels

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U.S. stocks are holding steady near their record levels, suggesting another quiet day on Wall Street. The S&P 500 was down 0.1% early Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained flat, and the Nasdaq composite was off by 0.3%. Despite Palo Alto Networks reporting better-than-expected profits, its stock fell due to a forecast for upcoming revenue that failed to impress investors. On the other hand, Macy’s saw a jump in its stock price after reporting results that were more resilient than analysts had feared. Treasury yields fell in the bond market, and stock indexes across much of Europe and Asia also experienced declines.

Stocks on Wall Street were mixed in quiet premarket trading Tuesday as more retailers report solid results as they bring this quarter’s earnings season to a close.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 leaned toward modest gains of less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq fell less than 0.1% before the bell, one day after hitting another record high.

Macy’s jumped 3.4% early Tuesday after it easily beat Wall Street’s profit projections. The New York retailer, which has been under pressure by investors to accelerate growth, also topped first-quarter sales targets and raised its outlook.

Hardware store chain Lowe’s rose a modest 2.3% after it beat analysts’ sales and profit targets.

This week has few top-tier economic reports, like last week’s headliner that showed inflation may finally be heading back in the right direction following a discouraging start to the year. But some potentially market-moving reports on corporate profits are on the calendar.

Atop them all is Nvidia, whose rocket ride amid a frenzy around artificial-intelligence technology has been a major reason for the S&P 500’s gains over the last year. It will report its latest quarterly results on Wednesday, and expectations are high.

Target also reports on Wednesday with Ross Stores following Thursday. They could offer more details on how well spending by U.S. households is holding up. Pressure has been rising on them amid still-high inflation, even if it’s not as bad as before, and cracks seem to be most visible among the lowest-income customers.

Hopes are growing that the Federal Reserve will be able to cut interest rates this year if inflation continues to cool. A cut to interest rates is generally a boon for equities markets.

One sector under particular pressure from high interest rates is the housing market. On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors reports on April home sales, which fell in March as home shoppers contend with elevated mortgage rates and rising prices.

In Europe at midday, France’s CAC 40 lost 1%, while Germany’s DAX declined 0.5%. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4%.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.3% to 38,946.93. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2% to 7,851.70. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.7% to 2,724.18. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dove 2.1% to 19,220.62, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.4% to 3,157.97.

In Asia, investors are focused on signs about the health of Chinese economy. S&P Global Market Intelligence raised this year’s growth forecast to 4.8% from 4.7% in April, but stressed it was not overly optimistic.

“The overall outlook of a tepid economic recovery remains unchanged, with the expansion supported by enhanced policy stimulus, strengthening external demand and gradually improving private-sector confidence,” it said in a report.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.26 to $78.04 a barrel. Brent crude the international standard declined the same $1.26 to $82.45 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar inched up to 156.30 Japanese yen from 156.27 yen. The euro cost $1.0865, up from $1.0861.

The Nasdaq climbed 0.7% Monday. The S&P 500 edged up by 0.1% to finish just short of its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.5% in its first trading day after closing above the 40,000 level for the first time.

Featured Image: Freepik @ wirestock

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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.