Stock market today: Wall Street hovers around record highs as quiet trading continues

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stock indexes hovered around record highs on Wednesday, continuing a day of flat trading.

The S&P 500 flat, a day after it set its latest all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 14 points, or 0.1%, as of 9:57 a.m. ET. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.1% after setting its latest record high.

The target fell 8.7% after the retailer reported a profit for the latest quarter that fell short of analysts’ expectations. It also provided a range of estimates for future earnings, with the midpoints falling short of analysts’ estimates, as it said customers are holding back on non-essential purchases. Earlier this week, Target said it was cutting prices on a daily basis by the thousands to lure customers struggling with still-high inflation.

Lululemon Athletica sank 7.3% after it said its chief product officer, Sun Choe, is leaving the company this month to “pursue another opportunity.” The company announced a new organizational structure where it will not replace the chief product role.

They helped offset a 27.3% jump for Petco Health & Wellness, which reported results and revenue for the latest quarter that were better than analysts expected.

TJX, the apparel and home goods retailer, rose 6.2% after beating earnings expectations. The company behind TJ Maxx and Marshalls also raised its full-year earnings per share forecast, saying its prices are helping to attract customers.

The main profit report of the day will come after the close of trading for the day. That’s when analysts expect Nvidia to deliver its latest quarter of successful growth thanks to growing demand for chips used in artificial intelligence technology. Shares of Nvidia have risen to the third largest on Wall Street, making it one of the most influential stocks on the market.

In the bond market, Treasury yields were rising ahead of the afternoon release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting. Several recent reports showing softening inflation and some parts of the US economy have rekindled hopes that the Fed will be able to cut its key interest rate at least once this year.

Fed officials have said in recent speeches that they have noted those reports and are encouraged by them, but that they still need to see more months of improving data before they can cut the federal funds rate from the highest in more than two decades. .

The Fed is trying to walk a tightrope where it slows the economy with only high interest rates to keep inflation under control, but not enough to cause a nasty recession.

Central banks around the world appear eager to cut interest rates, but “they may not go far” given how well economies are doing and how high inflation still is, according to Athanasios Vamvakidis, a strategist at the Bank of Greece. America. He said in a BofA Global Research report that he expects only shallow interest rate cuts, which may also come later than financial markets seem to anticipate.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 4.43% from 4.41% late Tuesday.

In stock markets abroad, indexes were modestly lower in much of Europe and Asia.

London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6% after the UK’s Office for National Statistics reported a stronger-than-expected inflation reading that dented hopes for a rate cut in June. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.8% after Japan reported that its trade deficit widened last month.

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AP writers Matt Ott and Zimo Zhong contributed.

Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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