Los Angeles Times
Stocks mixed; Gap, Nordstrom fall
Wall Street capped another wobbly day of trading Wednesday with an uneven finish for the major stock indexes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.2% after wavering between small gains and losses most of the morning. The benchmark index regained its footing in the final hour of trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped less than 0.1% after having been down 0.6% in the early going. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4%.
The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its October policy meeting, which showed that Fed officials discussed how they “would not hesitate” to take appropriate actions to address inflation pressures that posed risks to the economy.
The S&P 500 rose 10.76 points to 4,701.46. The index set an all-time high last
Thursday. The Dow slipped 9.42 points to 35,804.38, and the Nasdaq advanced 70.09 points to 15,845.23.
Small-company stocks also rose. The Russell 2000 index added 3.60 points, or 0.2%, to end at 2,331.46.
Slightly more stocks in the S&P 500 index fell than rose. Gains in technology, real estate and energy stocks outweighed a slide in banks, materials companies and other sectors.
Investors kept an eye on the latest batch of quarterly report cards. Computer maker HP rose 10.10% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting solid financial results. Autodesk slumped 15.5%.
A mix of retailers that rely on direct consumer spending also turned choppy. Online crafts marketplace Etsy rose 6.2%. Gap nosedived 24.1% after the clothing chain said supply chain problems crimped its third-quarter earnings and revenue. Department store operator Nordstrom plunged 29% after reporting weak third-quarter earnings.
Bond yields were mixed.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.64% from 1.67% late Tuesday. That weighed down banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. JPMorgan Chase fell 0.8%.
The latest update on consumer spending showed an October rebound with a 1.3% rise, according to the Commerce Department. That’s slightly more than double the gain in September.
Markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will close early on Friday.
Investors received several upbeat economic updates Wednesday.
The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy slowed to a modest annual growth rate of 2.1% in the third quarter, slightly better than its first estimate.
The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest level in more than half a century.