Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses in early trading today as investors weigh the latest quarterly earnings reports from big U.S. companies and concerns about inflation.
Inflation has been a lingering concern for the markets as investors try to gauge how it will impact everything from the economic recovery’s trajectory to the Federal Reserve’s reaction. The latest report from the Labor Department shows yet another increase in consumer prices in June that surprised economists.
The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% as of 10:14 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 49 points, or 0.1%, to 34,947 points and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%.
Most stocks within the benchmark S&P 500 were losing ground, but technology companies made solid gains and helped counter the broader drop. The muted trading comes a day after the index set its latest record high.
Prices for U.S. consumers jumped in June by the most in 13 years, extending a run of higher inflation that has been raising concerns on Wall Street that the Fed might consider withdrawing its low-interest rate policies and scaling back its bond purchases earlier than expected.
Major companies opened up the latest round of corporate earnings with investors listening closely for clues about how companies have fared during the recovery and how they see the rest of the year unfolding.
Goldman Sachs slipped 1.4% despite reporting the second-best quarterly profit in the investment bank’s history. JPMorgan Chase fell 1.7% after giving investors a mixed report with solid profits but lower revenue as interest rates fell over the last three months.
Banks were the biggest drag on the market. Bond yields, which they rely on to charge more lucrative interest rates on loans, continued edging lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.34% from 1.36% late Monday.
Solid earnings did help some companies make gains. PepsiCo rose 2.6% after beating Wall Street’s second-quarter profit and revenue forecasts.