Stocks falter ahead of corporate earnings and inflation data | Economic news


By DAMIAN J. TROISE, AP Business Writer

Stocks faltered in morning trading on Wall Street on Tuesday as traders wait for more inflation and corporate earnings data this week.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% at 10:14 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44 points, or 0.1%, to 34,453 and the Nasdaq fell 0.1%.

A mix of retailers and other businesses that rely on direct consumer spending has gained ground. Nike rose 1.3% and Lowe’s 0.8%. Real estate and energy companies were also up, but those gains were offset by the collapse of several big tech and communications stocks. Facebook fell 2% and Google’s parent company Alphabet fell 1.3%.

US crude oil prices rose 0.7% and were hovering around $ 81 a barrel. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.59% from 1.60% on Friday night. The bond market was closed Monday for Columbus Day.

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European markets were mostly down and Asian markets also closed mostly down.

The market at large has been turbulent for weeks. Investors are trying to figure out how the economy will continue to recover, with COVID-19 remaining a threat and rising inflation can hurt consumer spending and business finances. The latest round of earnings reports will give Wall Street a clearer picture of how businesses are doing in the last quarter amid an increase in COVID-19 cases. It will also provide a better understanding of how they expect to behave during the rest of the year.

JPMorgan Chase will launch the banks’ results on Wednesday. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup will follow with their latest quarterly results on Thursday.

Investors will also be closely following the latest inflation updates from the Ministry of Labor. It will release its Consumer Price Index for September on Wednesday, which is a measure of how inflation is putting cost pressure on consumers. More information on inflationary pressures for businesses will be released on Thursday when the Labor Ministry releases its producer price index.

A wide range of industries are feeling the effects of rising inflation with higher costs for shipping and raw materials. Many companies have warned that their bottom lines could suffer from supply chain issues.

The tightening of the supply chain has also raised the prices of many products for consumers, which could hurt consumer spending and further delay economic recovery. Investors will receive an update on consumer spending when the Commerce Department releases its September retail sales report on Friday.

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