THURSDAY – Stocks dipped in early morning trading Thursday but were off their lows as strong earnings from Walmart helped boost sentiment.
In early earnings action, Walmart topped expectations and reaffirmed guidance, sending shares up 1.7% in premarket trading and helping to stem losses for futures.
On the economic front, weekly jobless claims numbers came in at 248,000, rising from the previous week and above the 218,000 expected, according to a Dow Jones estimate. Housing permits for January showed a surprise increase, but housing starts lagged expectations.
The S&P 500 in Wednesday’s regular trading session closed little changed, while the Dow shed nearly 55 points and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.1%.
The major stock averages came off their lows Wednesday after the release of minutes from the Fed’s January meeting.
The meeting summary showed the Fed is prepared to hike interest rates and reduce its balance sheet soon, as investors had already expected.
TUESDAY – U.S. stocks jumped on Tuesday after Russia appeared to be backing away from an immediate invasion of Ukraine, cooling geopolitical tensions that have knocked the stock market down the last three days.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it had begun returning some troops to deployment bases after training exercises near the Ukrainian border.
WTI crude prices fell 3%, while the 10-year Treasury yield jumped to 2.04% as tensions eased. The VanEck Russia ETF, a U.S.-traded fund which invests in big Russian stocks, jumped nearly 5% in premarket trading.
In addition to the Ukraine drama, investors will get another look at inflation Tuesday. The January producer price index, which measures final-demand wholesale prices, will be released at 8:30 and is expected to show a monthly gain of 0.5%.
Wall Street is coming off a volatile Monday trading session.
The Dow closed lower by 171.89 points, or 0.5%, after falling more than 400 points at one point. The S&P 500 dropped as much as 1.2% before ending the day 0.4% lower. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.9% at one point before closing just below the flatline.
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U.S. stock futures rose in early morning trading on Wednesday as investors digested another batch of corporate earnings and tech shares looked to build on their rebound.
Through Tuesday’s close, the Nasdaq Composite has gained more than 6% from its recent low on Jan. 27 after falling into correction territory earlier this year.
Mortgage applications dropped 10% week over week, however, as the rise in interest rates in recent months appears to have dampened demand among homebuyers.
Yields have risen this year in part because of a more aggressive stance from the Federal Reserve. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told CNBC on Wednesday that three rate hikes are possible this year but that the central bank is not locked in to any path and will watch how the economy responds.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 370 points, helped by a 7.8% pop in Amgen on the back of its strong earnings report. The S&P 500 also registered a gain, climbing 0.8%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite rose 1.3%.
As of the closing bell on Tuesday, nearly 60% of all S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings and roughly 77% have topped Wall Street’s earnings estimates, according to FactSet.
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