Monday, May 27, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street edges higher as more earnings come in ahead of inflation data

by Associated Press

Wall Street pointed higher early Wednesday as investors pore over more corporate earnings data ahead of an important inflation update later in the week.

Futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.2% before the bell and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were virtually unchanged. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq were up nearly 0.7%.

Tesla jumped 11.6% in off-hours trading, recovering some of its recent losses after the electric car maker said it would accelerate production of new, more affordable vehicles. Investors were looking for some sign that Tesla will take steps to stem its stock’s slide this year.

Boeing shares were boosted 3.1% even as the aircraft manufacturer said Wednesday that it lost $355 million on falling revenue in the first quarter. Boeing has faced increasing scrutiny over the safety of its planes and accusations of shoddy work from whistleblowers.

Boeing’s CEO said the company is in “a tough moment,” and its focus is on fixing its manufacturing issues, not the financial results.

Automaker Ford and Facebook owner Meta report their most recent quarterly financial results after the bell Wednesday.

In Europe at midday, Germany’s DAX was up 0.3% and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.4%. In London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.6%.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained more than 900 points, or 2.4%, to close at 38,460.08.

Shares in computer chip company Renesas Electronics Corp. jumped 10.5%, while rival Tokyo Electronic surged 7.1%.

Investors are watching to see how Japan’s central bank and its Finance Ministry react to prolonged weakness in the yen, which has been trading at its lowest level in 34 years, at a policy meeting that begins Thursday.

The U.S. dollar rose to 154.99 Japanese yen on Wednesday from 154.82 yen late Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.0688 from $1.0699.

“Market participants will be closely monitoring updates for any indications of how the Bank of Japan might address foreign exchange pressures during this week’s policy meeting,” Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a commentary.

Shares in Greater China also rallied.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 2.1% to 17,176.31, while the Hang Seng Tech Index gained 3.4%. Chinese artificial intelligence company Sensetime Group’s shares surged 31.2% after it released the latest version of its SenseNova generative AI model on Tuesday.

The Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.8% to 3,044.82.

Taiwan’s Taiex gained 2.7%.

In South Korea, the Kospi added 2% to 2,675.75, led by a 4% gain in heavyweight Samsung Electronics.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index was unchanged at 7,683.00 following the release of a fifth consecutive quarter of decelerating inflation, with the consumer price index in the first quarter easing to 3.6% from previous 4.1%.

On Friday, the government releases its monthly consumer spending report, which contains a measure of inflation that’s closely watched by the Federal Reserve.

Top officials at the Fed warned last week they may need to keep interest rates high for a while in order to ensure inflation is heading down to their 2% target. That was a big letdown for financial markets, dousing hopes that had built after the U.S. central bank signaled earlier that three interest-rate cuts may come this year.

Lower rates had appeared to be on the horizon after inflation cooled sharply last year. But a string of reports this year showing inflation has remained hotter than expected has raised worries about stalled progress.

In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude lost 35 cents to $83.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 25 cents to $87.14 per barrel.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed 1.2% to 5,070.55, pulling further out of the hole created by a six-day losing streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% to 38,503.69, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1.6% to 15,696.64.

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