UPDATE: 11:40 a.m.
Major indexes ended a wobbly day mostly lower on Wall Street as the market comes off its first weekly loss in six weeks.
The S&P 500 ended little changed and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged barely higher. The Nasdaq fell less than 0.1%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.63%.
Trading was choppy as investors hold back ahead of earnings reports later this week from several big retailers including Home Depot and Walmart on Tuesday and Target on Wednesday. The Commerce Department will release its retail sales report for October on Tuesday.
Stocks wobbled in afternoon trading on Wall Street today as the market comes off its first weekly loss in six weeks and investors move past the recent round of mostly solid corporate earnings.
The S&P 500 was mostly unchanged as of 3:04 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points, or less than 0.1%, to 36,1087 and the Nasdaq fell 0.1%.
The market remained choppy as rising and falling sectors rotated throughout the day. Energy companies started the day weak, but gained ground by late afternoon as U.S. crude oil prices reversed from losses to a slight gain. Chevron rose 2.3%.
A mix of financial companies and utilities also notched gains. Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.62% from 1.58% late Friday.
Communications companies were mixed after bouncing up and down throughout the day. Technology stocks fell, countering gains elsewhere in the market.
Investors are shifting their focus from the latest round of mostly solid corporate report cards to broader economic issues. That includes supply chain problems, rising inflation and other issues that will determine the pace and breadth of economic growth through the rest of the year and into 2022.
“You’re going to see a lot of give and take in this market because of the uncertainty over inflation,” said Megan Horneman, director of portfolio strategy at Verdence Capital Advisors. “It’s going to be a much more challenging situation because people are anticipating a good holiday season, but are unsure about the catalysts for next year.”
Companies that rely on consumer spending, such as retailers, were mixed. Dollar Tree jumped 14.1% following reports that activist investor Mantle Ridge plans to push the discount retailer to take measures to increase its stock value.
Tesla continued sliding after CEO Elon Musk’s latest move to sell a chunk of his stock. The electric vehicle maker’s stock fell 1.6% today and shed 15% last week.
Investors will get an update on the retail sector this week as several big retailers report their latest quarterly results. Home Depot and Walmart will report on Tuesday, followed by Target on Wednesday and Macy’s on Thursday.
Wall Street will also get a broader view on spending trends when the Commerce Department releases its retail sales report on Tuesday.
Investors will be watching for any signs that inflation is crimping business operations or consumer spending. Businesses have had to raise prices on a variety of goods to offset higher raw materials costs and are facing a wide range of supply chain problems. Consumers have so far taken price increases in stride, but analysts are concerned that they could start to pull back on spending because of the persistently rising inflation.
Discouraging reports on inflation from the Labor Department last week tripped up the broader market and sent major indexes to their first weekly loss in six weeks.
Elsewhere in the market today, buyout news helped lift several companies.
E-commerce mattress maker Casper surged 86.8% following news that is being acquired and taken private for about $308 million, less than a year after its public debut. Data center owners and operators CyrusOne rose 4.7% and and CoreSite rose 3.7% after announcing deals.