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Friday, December 3, 2021

Shares rise after another choppy day on Wall Street

By Damien J Trois and Alex Veiga

Wall Street capped another tough trading day on Wednesday with an uneven end for major stock indexes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% after discounting amid small gains and losses for most of the morning. In the last hour of trading, the benchmark index again gained its footing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped less than 0.1% after falling 0.6% in the opening round. The Nasdaq rose 0.4%, gaining a lift from a late afternoon rally in technology stocks.

The Federal Reserve released minutes from its October policy meeting, showing that Fed officials discussed they would “not hesitate” to take appropriate action to address inflationary pressures that pose risks to the economy. .

The minutes also showed that Fed officials said the spike in inflation seen this year was still likely to be transient, while acknowledging that the rise in prices was higher than expected. The minutes covered a meeting in which the Fed voted to take the first steps to withdraw the massive support it provided to an economy struggling to recover from the global pandemic.

Supply chain problems and inflationary pressures have been major concerns for a wide range of industries. Several companies have warned that they are having trouble meeting demand and are facing high costs for raw materials. Those higher costs are being passed on to consumers, who are paying more for everything from food and other staples to a wide range of retail items.

“You have an environment where the persistence of supply chain issues is starting to take a toll on people,” said Eric Friedman, chief investment officer at US Bank Wealth Management.

The S&P 500 closed 10.76 points higher at 4,701.46. The index set an all-time high last Thursday. The Dow lost 9.42 points to end at 35,804.38 and the Nasdaq gained 70.09 points to 15,845.23.

Shares of smaller companies also rose. The Russell 2000 Index rose 3.60 points, or 0.2%, to 2,331.46.

Slightly more stocks in the S&P 500 index fell than rose. Gains in technology, real estate and energy stocks outweighed declines in banks, materials companies and elsewhere in the market.

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Investors kept an eye on the latest batch of quarterly report cards. Computer maker HP rose 10.10% for the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 after reporting solid financial results. Autodesk fell 15.5% after the design software company warned investors that supply chain problems and inflationary pressures were affecting the pace of its recovery.

A mix of retailers relying on direct consumer spending also felt choppy. Online craft marketplace Etsy climbed 6.2%. The clothing chain said Gap fell 24.1% after supply chain problems dented its third-quarter earnings and revenue. Department store operator Nordstrom fell 29% after reporting weak third-quarter earnings.

Energy stocks posted gains as crude oil prices remained relatively stable and natural gas prices rose. Devon Energy rose 3.8%.

Bond yields were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.64% from 1.67% late Tuesday. This weighed down on banks, which depend on higher returns to charge more attractive interest on loans. JPMorgan Chase fell 0.8%.

According to the Commerce Department, the latest update on consumer spending showed a rebound in October with a 1.3% increase. This is slightly more than double the increase in September.

It has been an otherwise uneven and short week for investors. Markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and close early on Friday.

Investors got several upbeat economic updates on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department reported that the US economy slowed to a modest annual growth rate of 2.1% in the October-December quarter, slightly better than its first estimate. But economists are predicting a solid rebound in the current quarter, unless rising inflation and the recent rise in COVID cases derail activity.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a more than half-century low, the Labor Department reported, in another sign that the US job market is rebounding sharply from last year’s coronavirus slowdown.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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