Tech stocks tumble, Walmart rebounds in mixed trade

Stocks were mixed around noon Tuesday with Walmart’s results and a resurgence in the stock rally even taking center stage.

Around 11:30 a.m. ET, the S&P 500 was up 0.1%, the Dow Jones up 0.6% and the Nasdaq down 0.3%. Earlier in the session, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had traded in red numbers, with the Nasdaq losing more than 1.1% to session lows.

Around 11:20 a.m. ET, shares of Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY) were halted at least twice for volatility after gaining more than 70% on the day. GameStop (GME) shares also rose more than 12% to session highs and were halted for volatility.

Shares of Bed, Bath & Beyond more than doubled in the past week and are up more than 400% since late July.

The biggest story on Tuesday morning was Walmart’s (WMT) quarterly earnings, which kicked off a big week for the retail sector with better-than-expected numbers.

Walmart reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat expectations, with adjusted earnings per share of $1.77 on revenue of $152.9 billion. The company’s same-store sales in the United States increased 6.5% in the quarter.

Walmart shares were up nearly 6% in late morning trading.

The results follow a late-July warning from the company that saw Walmart slash its full-year profit forecast and denounce the negative impact of inflation on its customers.

In the release, Walmart said it expected full-year adjusted operating income to decline 11% to 13%. On Tuesday, the company raised those expected losses, saying it now sees full-year profits fall 9% to 11%.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said Tuesday the company is “working hard to support [customers] as they prioritize their spending” in this inflationary environment. “The steps we’ve taken to improve inventory levels in the U.S., along with a greater mix of grocery sales, have put pressure on the profit margin for the second quarter and our outlook for the year,” McMillon added.

The cars are parked in a Walmart Supercenter. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the markets on Tuesday, Home Depot reported second-quarter results that beat expectations across the board.

Home Depot reported US same-store sales that rose 5.8% versus expectations of a 4.9% increase. The company also reaffirmed its outlook for the third quarter, saying it expects mockup sales to increase 3%. Home Depot shares rose more than 4.8% in late morning trading.

On the economic side, housing market data released on Tuesday morning showed a further slowdown in the sector, with housing starts in July falling more than expected. Housing starts fell 9.2% in July, more than the 2.1% predicted by economists.

The number of building permits issued last month fell 1.3% from the previous month.

Energy markets also remained in focus, with WTI crude oil trading near $87 a barrel early Tuesday, putting WTI on course for its lowest closing price since late January.

On Monday, however, a 61-day streak of falling national gas prices was interrupted, with the national average rising by a penny amid higher prices in the Great Lakes region, based on Patrick De Haan of Gas Buddy.

This post will be updated.

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