Stocks rise on Wall Street, but still head for weekly losses

Business

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Stocks rose broadly in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday, but remain on track for weekly losses.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% as of 1:18 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 136 points, or 0.4%, to 36,052.and the Nasdaq rose 0.8%.

Technology stocks were among the biggest gainers. Chipmaker Micron Technology rose 4% and Apple rose 1.2%.

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Communications, industrial and health care companies also rose. Facebook parent Meta gained 3.4%. Johnson & Johnson rose 1.3% on news it’s splitting its Band-Aids and Listerine business from its medical device and prescription drug business.

Spectrum Brands, owner of Cutter bug spray and George Foreman grills, soared 12% after reporting strong quarterly earnings.

Banks and energy stocks lagged the market. Bank of America slipped 1.1%.

Lordstown Motors slumped 17% after giving investors a discouraging production update, with delays stretching to the third quarter of 2022.

Tesla fell 3.8% after CEO Elon Musk sold another chunk of his stock on following a pledge on Twitter to liquidate 10% of his holdings in the electric car maker.

Bond yields edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.58% from 1.55% from late Wednesday. The bond market was closed on Thursday.

The benchmark S&P 500 is headed for its first weekly loss in six weeks, along with the Dow and Nasdaq. The winning streak for stocks, which produced a series of record highs for the major indexes, came to an end as investors shifted focus from corporate earnings to rising inflation.

Investors reviewed mostly solid corporate report cards over the last several weeks. A wide range of companies showed that they were able to successfully navigate both the summer surge of COVID-19 cases and lingering supply chain problems.

Rising inflation, though, has been a lingering concern, with companies warning that higher raw materials costs and supply chain disruptions could crimp their finances. Prices have also been rising for consumer goods and essential items, raising concerns that people could pull back on spending and hurt the economic recovery.

Those inflation concerns were further stoked this week with discouraging reports on price increases for companies and consumers. On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that inflation at the wholesale level surged to a record high in October. On Wednesday, the agency gave Wall Street a hotter-than-expected inflation report that showed consumer prices also surged, hitting their fastest overall pace since 1990.

Outside of inflation concerns, investors are also closely watching for data that could give a clearer picture of how various parts of the economy are recovering. The Labor Department on Friday released data that showed Americans quit their jobs at a record pace for the second straight month in September. The figures point to a historic level of turmoil in the job market as newly-empowered workers quit jobs to take higher pay that is being dangled by businesses in need of help.

Wall Street will get another update on spending Tuesday when the Commerce Department releases its retail sales report for October. There are still several big companies on deck to report earnings and give investors a better sense of how the retail industry is doing. Home Depot and Walmart will report their results on Tuesday and Target will report its results on Wednesday. Macy’s will report earnings on Thursday.

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