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U.S. Stocks Waver: Mixed Reactions to Retail Earnings, Fed Minutes, and Oil Sentiments

U.S. stocks are displaying mixed trends in response to major retailers' reports, Federal Reserve minutes, and developments in the oil market. Here's a deeper look at the market's dynamics.


Stock Market Performance Overview

U.S. stocks have shown mixed reactions after receiving reports from major retailers like Walmart and Target, along with the minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting in July. As of 10:05 ET, the Dow Jones rose slightly, the S&P 500 had a marginal increase, and the NASDAQ Composite fell by 0.4%. The main equity indices closed lower on Wednesday, marking a second consecutive losing day.

Federal Reserve Minutes and Future Rate Hikes

Fed minutes from the July meeting have shed light on future rate hikes. Officials unanimously agreed to lift rates by 25 basis points, citing "significant" upside risks to inflation. Despite no expected changes in the September policy meeting, another hike in November is increasingly likely due to resilient U.S. economic data.

Positive Employment and Manufacturing Data

New jobless claims were slightly lower than expected at 239,000. Additionally, the Philadelphia manufacturers index was at a positive 12, a significant shift from the negative 10 that was anticipated.

Walmart Raises Full-Year Guidance

Walmart has raised its full-year guidance, causing its shares to fall 1.3%. As the world's biggest retailer, Walmart has likely benefited from a recent decrease in consumer spending on nonessential items, unlike its peers Target and Home Depot.

Cisco's Growth in AI Opportunities

Cisco Systems' stock rose nearly 4% after its CEO expressed optimism over market share gains and artificial intelligence opportunities, working to calm fears of slowing growth following a lackluster annual revenue forecast. Wolfspeed's stock, on the other hand, slumped 19.2% due to disappointing Q4 earnings.

Oil Market Influenced by U.S. Stockpiles and Global Demand

Oil sentiment continues to remain weak due to concerns over slowing growth in China and the Federal Reserve's hawkish stance potentially impacting fuel demand. Moreover, data reveals that U.S. production reached a three-year high last week, nearing levels produced before the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.