Stock market today: Wall Street drifts higher as a summer lull continues

Jun 26, 2023, 10:26 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2023, 6:38 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are drifting higher as Wall Street’s lull continues following a strong start to the year. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in early trading Tuesday. The index has been edging lower since a five-week rally carried it to its highest level in more than a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 34 points, or 0.1%, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.5%. Walgreens Boots Alliance dropped 8.8% after it reported weaker profit than analysts expected. It also cut its forecast for upcoming earnings, saying customers have become more cautious in their spending.

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

Trading was mixed and light early Tuesday as inflation, interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty continue to hang over Wall Street and global markets.

Futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.1% before the bell, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%. The Nasdaq gained 0.4% early, clawing back some of the previous day’s losses.

Trading has been mostly muted in financial markets around the world as the fundamental, unanswered question remains the same: Will the economy be able to avoid a painful recession after central banks around the world hiked interest rates at a blistering pace to get inflation under control?

Adding to the uncertainty was a short-lived armed rebellion in Russia over the weekend. The war in Ukraine has already helped push upward on inflation around the world, but investors mostly looked past the brief mutiny by mercenary soldiers.

Stock prices have surged this year on hopes that a recession expected after the Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe and Asia raised interest rates to cool inflation might come later and be shorter and shallower than previously forecast.

The S&P 500 hit a peak for the year two weeks ago before enthusiasm eased. Last week was the index’s first losing week in the past six.

A report Friday will show how the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation behaved in May, but consumer and wholesale price data already were reported earlier this month.

Traders are betting June inflation data due out next month will push the Fed to raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point at its next meeting, which runs July 25-26, according to data from CME Group.

The Fed skipped a rate hike at this month’s meeting after pushing its benchmark lending rate to a 16-year high to cool inflation. Much of Wall Street expects a hike next month to be the final one of this cycle.

The Fed, meanwhile, has suggested it could raise rates twice more because inflation remains stubbornly high even if it has come down from its peak last summer.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% on Monday as tech stocks declined following a rapid run-up while most other stocks advanced. The index is off this year’s high of two weeks ago but still up more than 20% since mid-October.

“The moderation from previous overbought technical conditions and extreme bullish sentiment continues,” Yeap Jun Rong of IG said in a report.

In Europe at midday, the FTSE in London fell 0.1%, while the DAX in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 in Paris were mostly unchanged.

In Asia, Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.2% to 3,189.44 after China’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Qiang, said economic growth has accelerated and can hit this year’s official 5% target. Li, speaking at a conference, gave no growth rate for the latest quarter but said it is faster than the previous quarter’s 4.5%.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 0.5% to 32,538.33 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.9% to 19,148.13.

The Kospi in Seoul shed less than 0.1% to 2,581.39 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.6% to 7,118.20.

India’s Sensex rose 0.3% to 63,154.82. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 96 cents to $68.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 21 cents on Monday to $69.37. Brent crude, the price standard for international oil trading, gave up 92 cents to $73.43 per barrel in London. It advanced 33 cents the previous session to $74.18.

The dollar edged up to 143.68 yen from Monday’s 143.45 yen. The euro rose to $1.0945 from $1.0915.

On Monday, the Dow lost less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite, dominated by tech stocks, fell 1.2%.


McDonald reported from Beijing; Ott reported from Washington.

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Stock market today: Wall Street drifts higher as a summer lull continues