NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 edged up on Tuesday, taking a breather a day after its best one-day performance in six weeks, as investors attempted to glean information from a mixed bag of results from major retailers such as Walmart and Home Depot.

Home improvement chain Home Depot (HD.N) fell 1.59% after it missed quarterly profit estimates due to higher costs, while department store operator Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N) tumbled 4.94% after reporting a bigger-than-expected loss.

Walmart Inc (WMT.N), on the other hand, exceeded expectations for quarterly revenue and earnings as online sales soared as consumers stockpiled essentials in response to coronavirus lockdowns. Still, its shares were last down 1.19% after rising as much as 3.4% earlier.

“Everyone wants to take every retailer’s report of being indicative of something, but at the same time staying open and doing stuff is good, it costs to do that,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee.

Advance Auto Parts (AAP.N) climbed 5.21% after the company said same-store sales improved significantly at the start of the second quarter, helping to lift the S&P retailing index 1.33%.

Trillions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus have helped the S&P 500 rebound nearly 35% from its March 23 intraday low. While the benchmark index is now less than 13% below its Feb. 19 closing record, gains have largely slowed in May on uncertainty over truly halting the spread of the coronavirus and allowing business to resume and rising U.S.-China tensions.

The benchmark index surged more than 3% on Monday, boosted by promising early-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s pledge over the weekend to support the economy as needed until the crisis has passed.

“You would expect consolidation, some give-back after the scale of the move we had yesterday and there is not much of that, so at the margin that is pretty bullish,” said Delwiche.

Powell, in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, said the central bank was continuing to consider ways to accommodate additional borrowers, and that Congress should consider anything to keep people out of insolvency.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 30.68 points, or 0.12%, to 24,566.69, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 7.76 points, or 0.26%, to 2,961.67, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 74.72 points, or 0.81%, to 9,309.55.

Consumer discretionary .SPLRCD and tech .SPLRCT were the best-performing sectors, while financials .SPSY and energy .SPNY lagged.

The NYSE Arca airline index .XAL advanced 1.33% as two top U.S. airlines said ticket cancellations were slowing and demand was showing signs of improvement since the pandemic brought global travel to a virtual standstill.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.44-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.25-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 55 new highs and six new lows.

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Leslie Adler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

The pandemic is forcing the airline industry to permanently shed tens of thousands of jobs

A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here. London (CNN Business)The wave of job losses that has come crashing down in the past six weeks…

China to drive global GDP growth this year and next

Rebound in factory activities to boost economic momentum in key sectors China is one of a few large economies expected to expand and substantially contribute to global GDP growth in 2020 and 2021, said the authors of a latest report…

HK’s Bank of East Asia to review assets with Elliott Management

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia (0023.HK) said on Wednesday it would carry out a comprehensive review of its portfolio of businesses and assets with the support of activist investor Elliott Management. A long-running dispute between…

Fed’s Powell: ‘Medical metrics’ most important data for U.S. economy now: CBS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The most important data for the U.S. economy right now are the “medical metrics” around the coronavirus pandemic, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Sunday night in broadcast remarks where he outlined the likely need for three…