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U.S. stocks mixed after retail earnings, Fed minutes

Published 08/16/2023, 07:32 PM
Updated 08/17/2023, 11:12 AM
© Reuters

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are mixed after a slate of reports from major retailers such as Walmart and Target and as investors digested the minutes of the Federal Reserve's meeting in July.

At 10:05 ET (14:05 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 63 points or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% and the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.4%.

The main equities indices closed lower Wednesday, a second consecutive losing day, with the NASDAQ Composite hit particularly hard, dropping 1.2%, on worries that additional tightening will disproportionately hit the debt-laden tech sector.

Fed minutes hint at future rate hikes

The minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, when the central bank officials decided unanimously to lift rates by 25 basis points, showed that most still saw "significant" upside risks to inflation, a sign that further rate hikes could be needed to slow the economy just as upbeat data forced the central bank to ditch its recession call.

The U.S. central bank is still widely seen standing still at its next policy meeting in September, but expectations are growing that there could be another hike in November as July's meeting came before a raft of U.S. data that underscored the resilient economy.

New jobless claims came in at 239,000, slightly lower than expected. The Philadelphia manufacturers index was 12, compared with the negative 10 expected.

Walmart in spotlight

It’s Walmart's (NYSE:WMT) turn to be in the spotlight Thursday as it raised its full-year guidance. Shares fell 1.3% after the report.

The world’s biggest retailer improved its annual earnings guidance for the second time this year. Unlike peers, Target (NYSE:TGT) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Walmart has likely been a beneficiary of a recent pullback in consumer spending on nonessential items.

Cisco optimistic over AI opportunities

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) traded higher by nearly 4% after the networking equipment maker’s Chief Executive, Chuck Robbins, talked up market share wins and artificial intelligence opportunities, as he moved to allay fears over slowing growth after a disappointing annual revenue forecast.

Wolfspeed (NYSE:WOLF) stock slumped 19.2% after the chipmaker issued a disappointing fiscal fourth quarter earnings report after the close Wednesday.

Crude helped by U.S. stockpiles draw

Oil sentiment remains weak, given worries slowing growth in China and a continued hawkish stance from the Federal Reserve will weaken fuel demand in the world's two biggest economies.

Additionally, data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. production hit a new three-year high last week, close to the record-high levels produced before the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

(Peter Nurse and Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

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