NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks wavered between small gains and losses in choppy trading Wednesday, but most of the major indexes remained in the green for the week.
The S&P 500 rose 0.1% as of 1:21 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 60 points, or 0.2%, to 31,870 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.
Small-company stocks made solid gains in a potential signal that investors had more confidence about prospects for economic growth. The Russell 2000 rose 1%.
Retailers had some of the strongest gains after getting beaten down in recent days over concerns that soaring inflation was eating into their profits. Some of those concerns dissipated after the high-end department store operator Nordstrom reported higher sales and raised its profit forecast. It’s stock jumped 12.5%.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, held steady at 2.76% from late Tuesday.
The broader market remains volatile with investors on edge because of rising inflation and its impact on businesses and consumers. Investors are also concerned about the Federal Reserve’s aggressive plan to raise interest rates to fight inflation and hope the Fed won’t act so aggressively to slow the economy as to cause a recession.
The Fed releases the minutes on Wednesday from its most recent policy meeting, potentially offering more insight into the reasons behind its actions this year.
“The overarching theme, especially for the past few weeks, is that investors are increasingly cautious on growth and the economic outlook,” said Jason Draho, head of asset allocation for the Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management. “It’s one of the big reasons why you’re seeing the inability for the stock market to get any kind of momentum.”
The S&P 500 gained ground on Monday, but slipped again on Tuesday, dragged down by more losses in the technology sector. The S&P 500 is coming off of a seven-week losing streak and is currently on track for a gain this week.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February added even more pressure to already rising energy costs, making inflation worse for both businesses and consumers. Supply chains became even tighter over the last month as China locked down several major cities to fight rising cases of COVID-19.
Several companies made strong gains after reporting solid financial results and giving investors strong forecasts, despite grappling with persistently rising inflation.
TurboTax software maker Intuit rose 8.3% after raising its profit and revenue forecasts for the year. Caleres, the owner of Famous Footwear, surged 27.2% after also raising its profit forecasts for the year.
Homebuilder Toll Brothers rose 5.8% after reporting strong profits just a day after that sector stumbled amid a disappointing government report on newly built home sales.
Wendy’s jumped 9.8% after Trian Fund Management, which already owns 19% of the company, said it was considering buying the rest of the company.
European markets were higher and Asian markets closed mostly higher.