Stocks Wobble As Major Indexes Hover Around Record Highs

FILE - A Wall Street sign is seen next to surveillance equipment outside the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in New York. Stocks are off to a mostly lower start on Wall Street Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 a day after the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials approached the record highs they set this summer. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Stocks wobbled in afternoon trading on Wall Street Thursday, a day after approaching record highs set this summer.

The S&P 500 index fell 0.1% as of 12:50 p.m. Eastern. The benchmark index is sitting just below the all-time high it reached on Sept. 2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 137 points, or 0.4%, to 35,471 and is just below its all-time high set on Aug. 16.

The Nasdaq rose 0.3% and smaller stocks edged higher. The Russell 2000 rose 0.1%.

U.S. crude oil prices fell 2.2% and weighed down energy stocks. Devon Energy fell 2.9% and Schlumberger fell 1.6%.

Banks also broadly fell. Capital One shed 4%.

A mix of companies that rely on direct consumer spending made gains. Tesla rose 3.4% after reporting encouraging third-quarter profits, despite parts shortages and shipping delays.

WeWork rose 11.3% in its second attempt to become a publicly traded company. The company, which provides shared workspaces, had a spectacular collapse during its first attempt to do so two years ago and is emerging after the pandemic closed millions of square feet of office space.

Investors are reviewing the latest earnings reports with supply chain problems and the impact from rising inflation as a key focus. Many companies have warned that the supply chain issues and overall higher costs will hurt operations and Wall Street is trying to gauge just how much it will sting corporate profit growth and margins.

Companies seem to be managing those higher costs and encouraging investors who had been uncertain in a very choppy market for weeks, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

“Investors were willing to rotate rather than retreat while they waited for better news to take bigger and longer-term positions,” he said.

Wall Street is also concerned that rising inflation will eventually force more companies to raise prices on goods, which could result in lower consumer spending and a stalled economic recovery.

Several carmakers and automotive products companies are making gains following Tesla’s latest earnings. Ford rose 2.9% and AutoZone rose 2.3%.

IBM slumped 8.3% after reporting quarterly revenue that fell shy of analysts’ forecasts.

Bond yields moved higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.67% from 1.63% late Wednesday.

European markets were lower and Asian markets ended mixed.

Outside of earnings, investors received an encouraging update on the labor market. The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted.

By DAMIAN J. TROISE - Oct 21, 2021 - 12:57 PM ET

AP

 
 

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