Stock market today: Wall Street opens mixed ahead of Big Tech earnings

Jul 24, 2023, 11:12 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening mixed Tuesday as Wall Street waits to hear from some of its most influential companies, and whether their huge rally this year was justified. The S&P 500 was little changed in early trading, still near its highest level in more than 15 months. The Dow slipped 20 points, less than 0.1%, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.4%. General Electric jumped 6.5% after reporting stronger profit for the spring than analysts expected. GE also raised its forecasts. Alphabet and Microsoft report after trading closes. The Federal Reserve began its latest meeting on interest rates.

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

NEW YORK (AP) — Global stock markets and Wall Street futures were mixed Tuesday after China’s ruling Communist Party promised to shore up its sagging economy ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting traders hope will announce this interest rate cycle’s final increase.

London and Shanghai advanced while Tokyo and Paris retreated. Oil prices edged lower.

Chinese leaders have promised measures to boost sluggish economic growth by supporting real estate sales and other struggling sectors but gave no details and didn’t mention possible stimulus spending.

Any stimulus is “unlikely to be significant” while Beijing takes a “gradual and targeted approach,” Andrew McCaffery of Fidelity International said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.1% to 7,686.57. The CAC 40 in Paris lost less than 0.1% to 7,424.47 and the DAX in Frankfurt shed less than 0.1% to 16,186.36.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 was 0.15% higher ahead of Wednesday’s Fed meeting. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was little-changed.

On Monday, the S&P 500 rose 0.4%. The Dow gained 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.2%.

Traders expect the Fed to announce another increase in its benchmark lending rate to a 22-year high. But they hope that will be this year’s final increase after inflation that was near multi-decade highs declined.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.1% to 3,231.52 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong surged 4.1% to 19,434.40.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed less than 0.1% to 32,682.51 while the Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.3% to 2,636.46. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5% to 7,339.70.

India’s Sensex retreated 0.1% to 66,313.91. New Zealand and Bangkok declined while other Southeast Asian markets advanced.

Traders hope the Fed can pull off the challenging feat of a “soft landing,” or extinguishing inflation without tipping the U.S. economy into recession.

Traders were betting on at least a brief recession to begin this quarter. But they pushed back the timing and scale of the expected slump after U.S. hiring and consumer spending stayed unexpectedly strong.

Meanwhile, about 30% of companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to tell investors this week how much they earned from April through June.

They include tech giants Alphabet, Meta Platforms and Microsoft. Those are three of the seven stocks that accounted for the majority of the S&P 500’s gain in the first half of this year. Each has soared at least 37% this year.

The market’s top stocks have become so big and their movements so influential over the market that Nasdaq rebalanced its Nasdaq 100 index before trading began Monday to lessen the impact some stocks have on the overall index.

A report on Monday suggested U.S. service industries are growing but more slowly than forecast.

The preliminary report from S&P Global also suggested U.S. manufacturing isn’t doing as badly as feared. Overall, growth in business activity during July appears to be at its slowest in five months.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 1 cent to $78.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.67 on Monday to $78.74. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, retreated 7 cents to $82.41 per barrel in London. It gained $1.67 the previous session to $82.74.

The dollar declined to 141.25 yen from Monday’s 141.44 yen. The euro declined to $1.1065 from $1.1071.

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Stock market today: Wall Street opens mixed ahead of Big Tech earnings