Stock market today: Wall Street ticks lower ahead of another big batch of retail earnings

Feb 26, 2024

Wall Street pointed slightly lower early Monday ahead of a week that will be dominated by earnings reports from some of the nation’s biggest retailers.

Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each ticked down about 0.1% before the bell.

Earnings remain a big focus this week as a key indicator on where the U.S. and global economies are headed.

Domino’s jumped 6.5% before the bell after the pizza delivery giant beat Wall Street’s sales and profit targets. Zoom, the video conferencing company, reports after the bell. on Monday officially took its position among the 30-company Dow Jones industrials, replacing drugstore operator Walgreens Boots Alliance. Uber Technologies Inc. will replace JetBlue Airways Corp. on the Dow Jones Transportation Average, allowing the index to better track the ride-sharing sector.

Big retailers reporting quarterly financial results this week are home improvement retailer Lowe’s, discount retailer Dollar Tree, department store chain Macy’s and electronics retailer Best Buy.

More economic data are due on consumer confidence, inflation and the U.S. economy. An update on the pace of growth in the United States in the October-December quarter is slotted for Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve has been trying to tame inflation back to its target of 2%. Previous data on consumer and wholesale prices came in hotter than Wall Street expected. Traders now expect the Fed to cut rates in June instead of March.

In Europe at midday, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.4%, Germany’s DAX edged 0.1% higher and Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.3%.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.4% to finish at 39,233.71. Markets in Tokyo were closed Friday for a holiday. The benchmark surged to an all-time high of 39,098.68 on Thursday.

In currency trading, the dollar edged up to 150.57 Japanese yen from 150.47 yen. The euro cost $1.0856, up from $1.0823.

The weakness of the yen is one factor attracting many foreign investors to Japanese shares, said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

He said investors were selling to lock in profits from recent gains in Chinese markets, which have rallied slightly after a months-long slump.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.5% to 16,634.74, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.9% to 2,977.02.

Elsewhere in Asia, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.1% to 7,652.80. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.8% to 2,647.08.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 42 cents to $76.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 39 cents to $80.41 a barrel.

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