NATIONAL NEWS

Stock market today: Wall Street inches higher with more corporate earnings on the way

May 5, 2024, 9:56 PM | Updated: May 6, 2024, 6:00 am

Wall Street pointed toward gains early Monday, kicking off a quiet week for economic data but another full slate of corporate earnings reports.

Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were both 0.4% higher before the bell.

Meat processor Tyson Foods rose 2.6% in premarket after it easily beat analysts’ profit expectations even as it fell a hair short of sales forecasts.

Shares in Spirit Airlines slid 3.5% before the bell after the budget airline came up short on Wall Street’s sales and profit targets for the quarter. The company, which hasn’t turned a full-year profit since 2019, has been in cost-cutting mode, deferring plane orders and furloughing pilots.

GameStop gave back more than 7% in early trading Monday after the so-called “meme stock” had gained nearly more than 45% in the closing days of the past week.

Later this week, Walt Disney Co., Airbnb, Anheuser-Busch and Uber issue their latest sales and profit reports.

Elsewhere, in Europe at midday Germany’s DAX climbed 1.1% higher and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.9%. London markets were closed for a bank holiday.

In Asian trading, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed 0.4% higher at 18,548.77, and the Shanghai Composite index surged 1.2% to 3,140.72 as markets in mainland China reopened after a weeklong holiday. A private sector survey Monday showed the country’s services sector grew at a slower pace in April due to rising costs although new orders rose and business sentiment improved.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% to 7,682.40. Taiwan’s Taiex gained 1%.

Markets in Tokyo and South Korea were closed for holidays.

Early Monday, benchmark U.S. crude rose 62 cents to $78.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, climbed 52 cents to $84.48 a barrel.

The Japanese yen strengthened slightly after its value swung from a low of 160.25 to the U.S. dollar to 151.86 late last week following suspected government intervention. The dollar bought 153.52 yen early Monday, down from 152.90 yen.

The euro rose to $1.0789 from $1.0763.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 1.3% to 5,127.79 in its best day since late February thanks to a rally backed by cooler-than-expected U.S. employment data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2% to 38,675.68. The Nasdaq composite ended 2% higher and closed at 16,156.33, reflecting strong gains by technology sector stocks, which accounted for much of the rally.

The nation’s employers added 175,000 jobs last month, down sharply from March and well below the 233,000 gain that economists had predicted. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings, a key driver of inflation, rose less than expected.

The modest increase in hiring last month suggests the Federal Reserve’s aggressive streak of rate hikes may be finally starting to take a bigger toll on the world’s largest economy. That may help reassure the Fed that inflation will ease further, which could move the central bank closer to lowering interest rates.

Optimism over potentially lower interest rates fueled Friday’s rally.

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