Asian stocks fall after inflation accelerates in Australia


Stocks faltered in morning trading on Wall Street on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hit their latest highs.

The S&P 500 was relatively unchanged at 10:20 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 5 points, or less than 0.1%, to 35,750 and the Nasdaq was up 0.3%.

Tech stocks gained ground after several companies reported encouraging financial results. Microsoft rose 3.5% after reporting a 24% increase in profits in the last quarter as its cloud computing business grew. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices rose 0.9% after reporting encouraging earnings.

A mix of businesses that rely on direct consumer spending has also gained ground. Homebuilder Lennar rose 2.5%.

Bond yields have fallen and weighed on banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.59% from 1.61% on Tuesday night. JPMorgan Chase fell 1.3%,

Crude oil prices in the United States fell 0.6% and pushed energy stocks lower. Exxon Mobil fell 1.2%.

Investors are busy examining the latest round of earnings from a variety of well-known companies. McDonalds rose 1.9% after posting strong financial results as an easing of trade restrictions helped sales growth. Coca-Cola grew 2.2% on the strength of sales growth and the reopening of many locations and businesses over the summer.

General Motors fell 3% after reporting mixed financial results as the auto industry as a whole continues to face production issues due to a shortage of chips. Rival Ford will release its results later Wednesday.

The constant stream of corporate newsletters will continue on Thursday with industry leader Caterpillar and tech giant Apple. Amazon and Starbucks will also release their results on Thursday.

Outside of earnings, investors are also waiting for the latest update on US economic growth when the Commerce Department releases its third quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.

Asian markets closed lower as a Chinese newspaper warned more real estate developers are likely to default on bonds. Investors are looking to see if one of the biggest developers, Evergrande Group, can avoid a default of 2,000 billion yuan ($ 310 billion) in debt.

European markets were mostly down.

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