Stocks dip slightly, oil prices rise despite release of crude
Stocks edged down in choppy trading on Wall Street on Tuesday as losses at communications and tech companies tempered gains elsewhere in the market.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3% at 2:36 p.m. EST. The benchmark is on track for its third straight decline after setting a record last Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 85 points, or 0.2%, to 35,705, and the Nasdaq fell 1.3%.
Bond yields edged up. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.66% from 1.63% on Monday night. It helped send the banks higher. JPMorgan Chase rose 2.2%
The price of U.S. crude oil rose 2.5% and wholesale gasoline 3.5% despite President Joe Biden ordering 50 million barrels of oil from the country’s strategic reserve for help reduce energy costs. This decision was made in concert with other major oil-consuming nations.
Oil and gas companies made solid gains from rising energy prices. Devon Energy rose 4.9%.
Several travel-related businesses have gained traction as people prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving vacation. Hilton Worldwide rose 0.9% and Booking Holdings rose 1.6%.
Retailers were mixed before the official start of the key holiday shopping season. Discount retailer Dollar Tree jumped 10.6% for the S&P 500’s biggest gain. Starbucks was up 1.4%. Best Buy fell 12.9% as concerns over squeezing margins outweighed strong earnings.
Technology and communications companies have also weighed on the broader market. Chipmaker Nvidia fell 2.2% and Microsoft fell 1.3%.
Zoom Video fell 17.5%, the pace of its largest single-day decline, a day after the video conferencing company announced that third-quarter revenue growth had slowed.
Investors face a shortened vacation week. The markets are closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early Friday.
Wall Street will receive some economic data on Wednesday that could give investors a better idea of the pace and extent of the economic recovery. The Ministry of Labor will publish its weekly report on unemployment benefits. The Commerce Department releases data on the third quarter gross domestic product and its new home sales report for October.
Also on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its October interest rate meeting, potentially giving investors more details on the central bank’s plan to start cutting bond purchases that helped keep interest rates low.
Investors watched to see if the pressure from rising inflation would prompt the Fed to step up its plans to cut bond purchases and increase its benchmark interest rate.