Stocks fluctuate on Wall Street as investors review earnings

Stocks fluctuate on Wall Street as investors review earnings

Tokyo Stocks fluctuated in afternoon trading on Wall Street on Thursday as investors reviewed recent earnings reports from retail traders and the latest developments in the labor market.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% as of 1:04 PM ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 65 points, or 0.2 percent, to 35,867, and the Nasdaq rose 0.3 percent.

Nearly 70% of the S&P 500 is down, but gains by several big tech companies have helped offset losses in other sectors.

Financial companies have experienced some of the biggest losses. American Express fell 1.6 percent and insurance company Allstate fell 1.1 percent.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.59% from 1.60% late Wednesday.

Consumer goods makers and industrial firms also declined. Kraft Heinz shares fell 3.7 percent and General Electric dropped 2.3 percent.

Strong earnings results helped lift the number of companies.

Nvidia stock jumped 8.7% after the gaming and artificial intelligence graphics chip maker reported strong third-quarter financial results. Other chip makers also made gains. Advanced Micron Devices prices rose 2% and Micron Technology shares gained 0.8%.

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Companies that rely on consumer spending on goods and services also fared well after strong earnings reports from retailers. Macy’s stock rose 21.3% after the convenience store chain beat Wall Street’s third-quarter earnings expectations. Kohl’s jumped 7.7% after reporting encouraging earnings.

Investors received a positive update on the closely watched labor market, which is seen as a key factor in the continued recovery of the economy.

The Labor Department said the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell for the seventh consecutive week to an epidemic low of 268,000.

US stocks have risen significantly since early October as companies reported much stronger earnings for the summer than analysts had expected. Nearly every S&P 500 company shifted its most recent financial results, with an overall profit growth of 39%. That far beat analysts’ expectations in June of 23% earnings growth for the quarter.

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Investors have now shifted much of their focus to the threat of rising inflation. Companies face rising raw material costs and supply chain problems that can strip profits. Consumers have so far absorbed the higher prices, but analysts fear they may eventually be able to rein in their spending if the high prices persist for too long.

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