Stocks ended mostly higher on Wall Street Tuesday after another bumpy day as investors cautiously reviewed mostly encouraging financial results from major retailers. The S&P 500 rose 8.06 points, or 0.2%, to 4,305.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 239.57 points, or 0.7%, to 34,152.01. The Nasdaq fell 25.50 points, or 0.2%, to 13,102.55. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer jumped 5.1% after reporting strong results that easily topped analysts’ forecasts. Home Depot rose 4.1% after also reporting better-than-expected results. The gains from both companies did much of the heavy lifting for the Dow.
Technology, health care and energy stocks fell, limiting the broader market’s advance. Broadcom fell 1.3%, Moderna slid 5% and Marathon Oil fell 1.1%. US crude oil prices fell 3.2%. Stocks had their best month in a year-and-a-half in July and the winning streak has been continuing into August partially on hopes that inflation is easing, the AP reports. The latest government report on consumer prices showed that inflation essentially stalled from June to July. Still, trading has been choppy, with major indexes swaying between gains and losses throughout each day.
The latest results from retailers show that spending remains solid, even as consumers face the hottest inflation in 40 years. Wall Street has been concerned that higher prices on everything from food to clothing could eventually stunt the economy’s main engine of growth, consumer spending. Investors will get more updates on the retail sector this week, when Target reports its results on Wednesday. The Commerce Department releases its July retail sales report on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect modest 0.2% growth from June, when sales rose 1%.
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