May 28th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street holds steady as earnings reports wind down

By Elaine Kurtenbach And Matt Ott, The Associated Press on May 7, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are holding relatively steady as trading on Wall Street calms following some sharp recent swings. The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in early trading Tuesday, coming off a strong three-day winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35 points, and the Nasdaq composite added 0.2%. The Walt Disney Co. sank after reporting revenue that fell a bit shy of forecasts. Disney also said it expects its streaming business to soften. Kenvue, which makes Band-Aids and Tylenol, rose after topping analysts’ forecasts. They’re among the tail end of companies reporting their results for the first three months of the year.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Wall Street shifted between gains and losses before the opening bell Tuesday as more corporate earnings arrive during what is otherwise expected to be relatively quiet week.

Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each rose less than 0.1%.

Disney tumbled more than 6% in premarket trading after it posted a second-quarter loss, dragged down by restructuring costs and other charges. Adjusted for those costs, Disney beat Wall Street’s per-share profit expectations, but fell short of sales targets.

Tesla dipped after federal highway safety investigators asked the electric car maker to tell them how and why it developed the fix in a recall of more than 2 million vehicles equipped with the company’s Autopilot partially automated driving system. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tesla has reported 20 crashes since the remedy – an online software update – was sent out in December. It’s shares were down 1.8% before the bell and have fallen more than 25% this year.

This week is relatively quiet since the bulk of companies in the S&P 500 have already reported their earnings for the first three months of the year, with more than three-quarters of them topping profit expectations, according to FactSet.

Corporate profit reports have been better than expected, not just in the United States but also in Europe and Japan, according to strategists at Deutsche Bank. Global earnings growth is on track for a second straight quarter of growth following four consecutive declines.

The U.S. stock market has been swinging between gains and losses since setting a record at the end of March. It sunk for weeks on fears that stubbornly high inflation would prevent or at least delay the Federal Reserve from delivering the cuts to interest rates that Wall Street craves.

But it rebounded at the end of last week following a cooler-than-expected jobs report, suggesting the U.S. economy was strong enough to avoid a bad recession without stoking inflation.

Traders are betting on a nearly 89% chance that the Fed will cut its main interest rate at least once before the end of the year, according to data from CME Group. That’s up from from an 81.6% probability seen a week earlier. Lower rates would help ease the pressure on the economy and financial system.

In Europe at midday, Britain’s FTSE 100 surged 1%, Germany’s DAX rose 0.6% and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.4%.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.6% to 38,835.10. The advance was led by semiconductor companies like Tokyo Electron, which closed 4.8% higher, and Advantest, which picked up 2.2%.

The Kospi in South Korea surged 2.2% to 2,734.36, helped by big tech companies like Samsung Electronics, which racked up a 4.8% gain, and smaller rival SK Hynix, which added 3.7%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.5% to 18,4779.37. But the Shanghai Composite index recovered from early losses, gaining 0.2% to 3,147.74.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.4% to 7,793.30 after the central bank decided to keep interest rates unchanged at 4.35%.

Taiwan’s Taiex was up 0.6%, while India’s Sensex gave up 0.5% as the country began the third phase of its weeks’ long national elections process.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 34 cents to $78.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 37 cents on Monday.

Brent crude, the international standard, was gave back 32 cents, falling to $82.98 per barrel.

The dollar rose to 154.39 Japanese yen from 153.90 yen. The euro held steady at $1.0769.

On Monday, the S&P 500 rose 1% and the Dow industrials gained 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.2%.

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