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.
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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