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Stock market today: Wall Street drifts as drops for tech overshadow gains elsewhere

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks drifted to a mixed close as drops for Microsoft and other big-name tech stocks overshadowed gains for much of the rest of Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell 0.
A pedestrian walks past the smoke and haze shrouded New York Stock Exchange building in New York City Wednesday, June 7, 2023. Intense Canadian wildfires are blanketing the northeastern U.S. in a haze, turning the air acrid and the sky yellowish gray. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks drifted to a mixed close as drops for Microsoft and other big-name tech stocks overshadowed gains for much of the rest of Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% Wednesday even though the majority of stocks within the index rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 91 points, or 0.3%, while the Nasdaq composite lagged the market with a loss of 1.3%. Tech stocks dropped as yields rose in the Treasury market. The Bank of Canada raised interest rates for the first time since January, ahead of a decision on interest rates next week by the Federal Reserve.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are drifting Wednesday, as drops for Microsoft and other big-name tech stocks overshadow gains for much of the rest of Wall Street.

The S&P 500 was 0.4% lower in late trading even though the majority of stocks within the index were rising. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 116 points, or 0.3%, at 33,690 with less than an hour remaining in trading. The Nasdaq composite was lagging the market with a drop of 1%.

Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet all fell at least 3% and were the heaviest weights on the S&P 500. Because they're some of Wall Street's most valuable stocks, their movements pack extra punch on the index.

It's a reversal from much of this year, where stocks of high-growth companies led the way on hopes for easier interest rates from the Federal Reserve and excitement around artificial intelligence. But tech stocks are seen as some of the hardest hit by higher interest rates, and yields were on the rise in the Treasury market.

Yields climbed after the Bank of Canada raised its policy interest rates on Wednesday after having left them steady since January. The Fed will make its own decision on rates next week.

Campbell Soup, meanwhile, sank 8.4% after reporting weaker revenue for the latest quarter than expected. It also gave a forecast for earnings for its full fiscal year that fell short of analysts’ expectations, as price increases push some customers to buy less.

On the winning side of Wall Street was Dave & Buster’s, which jumped 19% after reporting stronger profit for the latest quarter than expected.

Brown-Forman rose 4% after the spirits company reported stronger profit than expected for the latest quarter, thanks in part to growth for its Woodford Reserve brand.

The market in general has climbed for months thanks to a resilient economy that’s managed to defy predictions for a recession, along with soaring performances for a handful of big technology companies.

Earlier on Wednesday, the S&P 500 briefly climbed above 4,292.44. If it finishes a day above that level, it would be 20% above where it was in October That would mean an exit from its long painful bear market, where Wall Street's main measure of health dropped 25.4% in about nine months last year.

Even if it does graduate to a bull market, one big question continues to hang over Wall Street. Which will come first: a recession or inflation falling enough to get the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates?

That’s why much of Wall Street’s focus is on next week. The U.S. government is scheduled to release the latest monthly updates on inflation at the consumer and wholesale levels. The Federal Reserve will also hold its next meeting on interest rates.

The dominant expectation among traders is for the Fed to leave rates steady next week. That would mark the first meeting in more than a year where it hasn’t hiked rates. But traders still expect the Fed to resume raising rates in July.

That’s key because the goal of high interest rates is to corral high inflation by slowing the entire economy and hurting prices for stocks, bonds and other investments. The Fed has hiked its benchmark overnight interest rate to the highest level since 2007.

Pressure from high rates have already caused cracks in the U.S. banking and manufacturing industries, though the job market has remained remarkably solid.

One expected boost to the global economy has not come through, which has added to the pressure. In China, trade data pointed to a further slowing of the world's second-largest economy.

China reported its exports fell 7.5% from a year earlier in May and imports were down 4.5%, adding to signs of a slowing of its economic recovery following the lifting in December of anti-COVID controls that disrupted travel and commerce.

The decline in exports was the first year-on-year drop in in three months, with export volumes falling below their levels at the start of the year. “And with the worst yet to come for many developed economies, we think exports will decline further before bottoming out later this year,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

Stocks in Shanghai gained 0.1%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.8%.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 1.8%, the sharpest decline in 12 weeks. Analysts said investors were selling to lock in recent gains since prices have risen to their highest level since the early 1990s.

In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 3.78% from 3.68% late Tuesday. It helps set rates for mortgages and other important loans.

The two-year yield, which moves more on expectations for the Fed, rose to 4.55% from 4.50%.


AP Business Writers Matt Ott and Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.

Stan Choe, The Associated Press

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