Stock market today: Wall Street follows global markets down

Wall Street is slipping Wednesday following some mixed earnings reports from big U.S. companies and another signal that inflation remains hot around the world. The S&P 500 was 0.4% lower in early trading, threatening to erase the gain it’s built so far this week. The Dow and Nasdaq are also falling. High-growth and tech stocks are being hurt in part by higher yields in the bond market, which rose after a report showed U.K. inflation remains above 10%. Tesla is falling after announcing the fourth U.S. price cut on its vehicles this year. Travelers shares notched their biggest gain in over three years after it reported strong first-quarter results.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story appears below.

Wall Street is following global markets lower early Wednesday ahead of another trove of corporate earnings reports and potentially new maneuvers by central banks.

Futures for the S&P fell 0.6% before the bell and the Dow were slipped 0.3%.

Surprisingly strong earnings reports have buoyed markets in recent days. Expectations were low heading into the season amid elevated inflation, rising interest rates and slowing in some parts of the economy.

Wall Street analysts had been projecting the sharpest drop in earnings per share for S&P 500 companies since the pandemic torpedoed the economy in 2020.

American Express and major railroad companies post quarterly earnings this week and after the bell Wednesday, Tesla posts its first quarter results.

Tesla shares tumbled about 2% before the bell Wednesday after Elon Musk’s electric car company cut prices again. It’s the fourth time this year that Tesla has slashed prices to spur sales and chase shifting U.S. tax credits for electric vehicles. Shares in the Austin, Texas automaker have fallen almost 50% in the past 12 months.

With larger, so-called “too-big-to-fail” banks mostly posting strong earnings in recent days, attention now turns to reporting by smaller, regional banks such as KeyCorp and Zions Bancorp. Their stocks took a hit last month following the second- and third-largest U.S. bank failures in history.

A larger worry for the economy is that the banking industry’s woes could cause a pullback in lending, pressuring an economy already straining under the weight of much higher interest rates.

Inflation is slowing, but it’s still high, and traders widely expect the Fed to raise rates again at its next meeting in May.

A report Wednesday showed that the price of food in the U.K. rose at the fastest pace in 45 years last month, keeping inflation above 10% for a seventh straight month amid a cost-of-living crisis that has fueled a wave of strikes by government workers.

The 10.1% figure was slightly below the previous month’s 10.4%, but still shows the British government and Bank of England are struggling to prevent price increases triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from becoming embedded in the economy.

In Europe at midday, Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3% and Germany’s DAX dipped 0.2%. France’s CAC 40 was flat.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2% to finish at 28,606.76. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up nearly 0.1% to 7,365.50. South Korea’s Kospi gained nearly 0.2% to 2,575.08. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.4% to 20,367.76. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.7% to 3,370.13.

News that China’s economic growth accelerated in the latest quarter, to an annual 4.5%, has not had much of an impact on share prices. While consumption and retail sales have grown, other indicators, such as industrial output and fixed-asset investments, were weaker and indicate an uneven recovery.

“It may still be a worst-is-over story, but recovery has shown to be more gradual than a one-shot wonder,” Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG, said in a report.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.58 to $79.28 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, declined $1.66 to $83.11 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 134.84 Japanese yen from 134.12 yen. The euro fell to $1.0934 from $1.0975.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 edged up 0.1% and the Dow industrials slipped less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite was down less than 0.1%.


Kageyama reported from Tokyo; Ott reported from Silver Spring, Md.