Stocks wobble on Wall Street ahead of retailer earnings


A man wearing a face mask uses his phone near the Beijing Stock Exchange in Beijing Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. A stock exchange set up in the Chinese capital to serve entrepreneurs opened trading Monday with 81 companies amid a crackdown the country’s tech giants that has wiped more than $1 trillion off their market value abroad. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Stocks wobbled in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday as the market comes off its first weekly loss in six weeks.

The S&P 500 was mostly unchanged as of 1:27 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points, or 0.1%, to 36,124 and the Nasdaq fell 0.2%.

Banks and other financial companies made gains, along with communications companies.

Technology stocks fell and countered gains elsewhere in the market.

A broad variety of companies that rely on direct consumer spending for goods and services were mixed. Dollar Tree jumped 14.2% following reports that activist investor Mantle Ridge plans to push the discount retailer to take measures to increase its stock value.

Tesla continued sliding after CEO Elon Musk’s move to sell a chunk of his stock. The electric vehicle maker’s stock fell 4.3% on Monday and shed 15% last week.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.62% from 1.58% late Friday.

E-commerce mattress maker Casper surged 87.3% following news that is being acquired and taken private for about $308 million, less than a year after its public debut.

Buyout news helped lift several other companies. Data center owners and operators CyrusOne rose 4.8% and and CoreSite rose 3.3% after announcing separate deals.

Investors will get an update on the health of the retail sector this week as several big retailers report their latest quarterly results. Home Depot and Walmart will report on Tuesday, followed by Target on Wednesday and Macy’s on Thursday.

Wall Street will also get a broader view on spending trends when the Commerce Department releases its retail sales report on Tuesday. The latest updates come as investors move past the latest round of corporate earnings and shift their focus to how supply chain problems, rising inflation and other economic issues impact the broader economic recovery.

“You’re going to see a lot of give and take in this market because of the uncertainty over inflation,” said Megan Horneman, director of portfolio strategy at Verdence Capital Advisors.

Investors will be watching for any signs that inflation is crimping business operations or consumer spending. Businesses have had to raise prices on a variety of goods to offset higher raw materials costs and are facing a wide range of supply chain problems. Consumers have so far taken price increases in stride, but analysts are concerned that they could start to pull back on spending because of the persistently rising inflation.

Discouraging reports on inflation from the Labor Department last week tripped up the broader market and sent major indexes to their first weekly loss in six weeks.

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