Stocks are edging lower in uncertain trading on Wall Street to kick off a holiday-shortened, but earnings-heavy week. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% in morning trading on Tuesday and stocks in the benchmark index were roughly split between gainers and losers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell. Bond yields were relatively stable. The broader market is coming off its best week in two months as investors review the latest round of corporate earnings to get a better sense of how much damage inflation is inflicting on the economy. United Airlines and Netflix will report earnings this week.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
U.S. markets appeared slow to gain traction early Tuesday to start a holiday-shortened, earnings-heavy week.
Futures for the Dow Jones industrials slipped 0.3% and the S&P 500 fell 0.2% before the bell.
U.S. markets, which were closed for a holiday Monday, ended last week with gains on optimism that cooling inflation could lead the Federal Reserve to ease off the aggressive monetary policy it has deployed to fight elevated inflation.
There are signs that portions of the economy have slowed which, in addition to stubborn inflation, is weighing on major U.S. companies, which began reporting quarterly earnings Friday.
United Airlines reports quarter earnings after the closing bell and Netflix posts results later in the week. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs fell nearly 2% before the opening bell after the investment bank reported fourth-quarter profits slumped. Morgan Stanley fared a little better and shares edged higher in premarket trading.
Global markets are mostly lower Tuesday after China reported its economy expanded at a 3% pace last year, less than half 2021′s rate.
European shares declined and Asian shares were mixed as investors watched to see if Japan’s central bank will alter its longstanding policy of keeping its key interest rate at minus 0.1% when it wraps up a policy meeting on Wednesday.
The Chinese economy is gradually reviving after antivirus controls and a real estate slump dragged on growth last year. Restrictions that kept millions of people at home have been lifted, but a surge in COVID-19 infections is keeping consumers cautious about travel, shopping and dining out. Data reported Tuesday showed growth of the world’s second largest economy slid to 2.9% over a year earlier in December from the previous months 3.9%.
The government has begun to soften a crackdown on technology industries and to roll out more support for private businesses and the property sector, seeking to spur a recovery.
“The good news is that there are now signs of stabilization, as policy support doled out towards the end of 2022 is showing up in the relative resilience of infrastructure investment and credit growth," Louise Loo of Oxford Economics said in a research note.
Germany's DAX land the CAC 40 in Paris were both down 0.1%, while Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.3%.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was set to meet with her Chinese counterpart in Switzerland on Wednesday. Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He plan to discuss economic developments between the U.S. and China at a time of persisting tensions over trade and technology.
In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.2% to 26,138.68 and the Sensex in Mumbai gained 1%, to 60,676.01.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.8% to 21,577.64 and the Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1% lower to 3,224.24. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.9% to 2,379.39. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was barely changed, at 7,386.30.
Bangkok's benchmark shed 0.1%.
In other trading Tuesday, U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 63 cents to $80.49 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.47 to $79.86 per barrel on Monday.
Brent crude, the pricing standard for international trading, picked up $1.33 to $85.79 per barrel in London.
The dollar was unchanged at 128.53 Japanese yen. The euro ticked up to $1.0837 from $1.0822.