Stocks open flat as Wall Street’s summer rally falters
Stocks opened flat on Thursday as investors struggled to regain their footing a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a five-day winning streak and a recent market rally appeared to fade.
The Dow Industrial Average edged down 0.05%, or 17 points, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.06%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.23%.
Investors continued to watch retail earnings for insight into consumer health, which continued Thursday with reports from Kohl’s, Bath & Body Works and BJ’s Wholesale. Kohl’s shares fell pre-market after the company cut its guidance.
Early unemployment data released Thursday showed claims fell to 250,000 for the week ended August 13.
On Wednesday, the Dow fell about 172 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% for its first negative session in four. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, plunging 1.25%. Both the tech-heavy index and the S&P 500 are now on track to snap up a four-week winning streak.
The moves came as traders scanned the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting. The central bank remains committed to tackling inflation, but has indicated it may adjust its pace of tightening depending on market conditions.
Investors were hoping the Fed might slow the pace of its rate hikes after July’s consumer price index reading showed a slight slowdown in inflation. But not everyone is convinced.
“We’re in the camp that the Fed is not going to pivot,” Scott Wren, senior global market strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “The minutes haven’t changed our minds at all. We think a 75 basis point hike is likely in September, and we’ll see more hikes at the end of the year…we think that the market is a bit high here,” he added.
Some key economic data will also be released on Thursday, including weekly jobless claims and existing home sales.