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Wall Street drifts to mixed end as yields rise WFTV

Wall Street drifts to mixed end as yields rise WFTV


U.S. stock indexes drifted to a mixed finish Thursday during a quiet trading day.

The S&P 500 fell 11.09 points, or 0.2%, to 5,011.12 after oscillating between small gains and losses throughout the day. The drop was slight, but it was still enough to send the index to a fifth consecutive loss. This is his longest losing streak since October, and is 4.6% below his record set late last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 22.07 points, or 0.1%, to 37,775.38, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 81.87, or 0.5%, to 15,601.50.

Equifax fell 8.5%, one of the biggest losses in the market after reporting revenue for the latest quarter that was weaker than analysts expected. High interest rates are putting pressure on its mortgage credit investigation activities.

The only stock to fall more in the S&P 500 was Las Vegas Sands, which fell 8.7%, even though it reported better-than-expected results. Analysts said investors may be concerned about the competition the casino and resort company faces in Macau.

Elevance Health, which rose 3.2% after raising its full-year profit forecast, helped offset those losses. Original equipment parts jumped 11.2%, the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after the automotive and industrial parts distributor reported higher profit than analysts expected. It also raised its profit forecast range for the full year.

Stocks overall have struggled recently as bond market yields rise. They're increasing the pressure because investors have largely given up hope that the Federal Reserve will make many interest rate cuts this year.

Yields climbed a bit more after other reports on Thursday showed the U.S. economy remained stronger than expected.

Report says fewer workers applied for unemployment benefits last week than economists expected. It's the latest sign that the job market remains strong despite high interest rates.

This resilience continues to generate a strong flow of wages to continue fueling consumer demand, according to Carl Riccadonna, chief U.S. economist at BNP Paribas. His team predicts that the U.S. economy grew faster in the first three months of the year than other economists generally.

Another report released Thursday said manufacturing growth in the Mid-Atlantic region accelerated sharply, while economists had expected a contraction.

A third report said sales of previously occupied American homes did not decline last month as much as economists had expected.

Similar data, along with a series of reports showing that inflation has remained higher than expected this year, prompted senior Fed officials to say recently that they might hold interest rates in place. high for a while.

That's a disappointment after the Fed signaled earlier that three interest rate cuts could be possible this year. But Fed officials insisted they wanted to ensure inflation was heading toward their 2% target before lowering the Fed's main interest rate from its highest level since 2001.

A cut in interest rates would boost the economy and financial markets, but it could also fuel a re-acceleration of inflation.

Traders now expect only one or two rate cuts this year, according to CME Group data, down from expectations for six or more at the beginning of the year.

On the bond market, the yield on 10-year Treasury bills rose from 4.59% to 4.63% on Wednesday evening. The two-year Treasury yield, which moves more closely with expectations of Fed action, rose to 4.98% from 4.94%.

The hoped-for benefit on Wall Street of a strong economy that keeps interest rates high is that it could also lead to strong profit growth. Companies will need to demonstrate such strength in order to justify the rise in stock prices since late October, setting records along the way.

Recent declines in stock prices have made them cheaper, but they won't look cheap unless prices fall further or profits increase.

Alaska Air, the carrier that suffered a mid-flight eruption from a door jam on a Boeing plane in January, rose 4% after forecasting current quarter profits better than analysts expected.

Ally Financial jumped 6.7% after reporting earnings for the latest quarter that were higher than Wall Street had expected.

Ibottaa Walmart-backed digital company that offers customers cashback and rebates on grocery brands ranging from Nestle to Coca-Cola, soared 17.3% in its first day of trading.

In foreign stock markets, indices rose slightly in much of Europe and Asia. South Korean Kospi stood out. It jumped 2% to help dominate global markets.


AP Business writers Matt Ott and Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.




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