Thursday, May 30, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street holds steady after its 3-day winning streak

by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are holding relatively steady Tuesday as trading on Wall Street calms following some sharp recent swings.

The S&P 500 was 0.2% higher in early trading, coming off a strong three-day winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 54 points, or 0.1%, as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.2% higher.

Kenvue, the company whose brands include Band-Aids and Tylenol, rose 4.9% after topping analysts’ forecasts for both profit and revenue in the latest quarter.

The Walt Disney Co. sank 8.5% despite reporting stronger results for its latest quarter than analysts expected. Its revenue fell a bit shy of forecasts, and it expects its entertainment streaming business to soften in the current quarter.

They’re among the tail end of companies reporting their results for the first three months of the year. The majority of companies has so far been beating forecasts for earnings, but they’re not getting as big a boost to their stock prices afterward as they usually do, according to FactSet. Not only that, companies that fall short of profit expectations have seen their stock prices sink by more the following day than they have historically.

That could suggest investors are listening to critics who have been calling the U.S. stock market broadly too expensive following its run to records this year. For stock prices to climb further, either profits will need to grow more dynamically or interest rates will need to fall.

The latter still looks like a possibility on Wall Street following some events last week that traders found encouraging.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell strongly suggested the central bank is still closer to cutting its main interest rate than hiking it, despite a string of stubbornly high readings on inflation this year. A cooler-than-expected jobs report on Friday, meanwhile, suggested the U.S. economy could pull off the balancing act of staying solid enough to avoid a bad recession without being so strong that it keeps inflation too high.

After charging higher through the start of this year as hopes dimmed for cuts to interest rates by the Federal Reserve, Treasury yields have been regressing this month to offer some relief for the stock market.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.44% from 4.49% late Monday. The two-year yield, which moves more closely with expectations for the Fed, slipped to 4.81% from 4.83%.

While yields have been declining over the last week, strategists at Wells Fargo Investment Institute still expect long-term yields to remain high for a while. That’s in part because expectations are broadly for inflation to remain higher than hopes for some time. Luis Alvarado, global fixed income strategist, believes the 10-year yield will likely remain near its recent range.

Elsewhere on Wall Street, Crocs jumped 9% after reporting better profit and revenue than expected. It benefited from strong growth internationally.

International Flavors & Fragrances, which makes ingredients used in food and perfume, gained 5.7% after reporting better profit and revenue than expected. It also said it expects its revenue for the full year to come in at the higher end of its forecasted range.

In stock markets abroad, indexes jumped 2.2% in Seoul and 1.6% in Tokyo but were mixed in the rest of Asia. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.4% after the central bank decided to keep interest rates unchanged.

European stock indexes also rose.

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