Thursday, July 25, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street drifts following its 3-day losing streak

by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are drifting a bit higher Wednesday following a three-day lull.

The S&P 500 was 0.3% higher in morning trading. It’s on track for its first gain since setting an all-time high last week on Thursday, but all its movements since then have been relatively modest.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 225 points, or 0.6%, as of 10:25 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was virtually flat.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group are continuing their wild ride, jumping another 15.4%. The company behind the money-losing Truth Social platform has zoomed well beyond what critics say is rational, as fans of former president Donald Trump keep pushing it higher.

Merck climbed 3.8% after federal regulators approved its Winrevair treatment for adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare disease where blood vessels in the lungs thicken and narrow. Cintas, a provider of work uniforms and office supplies, was another big force pushing the S&P 500 upward. It jumped 10.5% after reporting stronger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected.

Robinhood Markets climbed 3.4% after unveiling its first credit card, which is reserved for its subscription-paying Gold members, along with other new products.

On the losing end of Wall Street was Carnival. The cruise operator fell 2.9% despite reporting a milder loss for the latest quarter than expected.

GameStop also tumbled after delivering a profit for the latest quarter, when several analysts were expecting a loss. It fell 14.3%. It’s the original meme stock, predating Trump Media by years, where its price has often moved more on the sentiment of smaller-pocketed investors rather than on fundamentals like its profit and revenue.

In the bond market, Treasury yields were edging lower with few economic reports on the calendar to shake things up.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 4.21% from 4.23% late Tuesday.

The week’s highlight for the bond market may be arriving Friday, when the U.S. government releases the latest monthly update on spending by U.S. consumers. It will include the measure of inflation that the Federal Reserve prefers to use as it sets interest rates.

But both the U.S. bond and stock markets will be closed that day for Good Friday. That could cause some anticipatory trades to bunch up on Thursday. It will also be the last day of the month and of the first quarter, which could further roil things.

The S&P 500 is on track for a fifth straight winning month and has been roaring higher since late October. The U.S. economy has remained remarkably resilient despite high interest rates meant to get inflation under control. Plus, the Federal Reserve looks set to start lowering interest rates this year because inflation has cooled from its peak.

But critics say a broader range of companies will need to deliver strong profit growth to justify their big moves in price. Progress on bringing inflation down has also become bumpier recently, with reports this year coming in hotter than expected.

Still, the broad expectation among traders is for the Federal Reserve to begin cutting its main interest rate in June.

In stock markets abroad, indexes were mixed across Europe and Asia.

Chinese stocks were some of the worst performers, even as China’s central bank governor told a high-level business conference in Beijing that the ailing property industry was showing signs of recovery and that the impact from defaults of dozens of developers was limited. Stocks tumbled 1.4% in Hong Kong and 1.3% in Shanghai.

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