Stock market today: Wall Street drifts in mixed trading as oil recovers some of its losses

NEW YORK — Wall Street had a quiet day of mixed trading on Tuesday, with most stocks falling but a handful of influential companies keeping losses in check.

The S&The P500 fell 7.04 points, or 0.1%, to 4,756.50, tracking its best day in almost two months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 157.85, or 0.4%, to 37,525.16, and the Nasdaq composite rose 13.94, or 0.1%, to 14,857.71.

Eversource Energy fell 7.7%, posting one of the biggest losses in the S&P500 after it said it could expect a hit of up to $1.6 billion to its year-end 2023 results. It is negotiating the sale of its stake in three offshore wind projects, and it may take a lower valuation for these projects must account for various challenges.

Unity Software fell 8% after announcing it would cut about a quarter of its workforce, or 1,800 jobs.

Boeing also fell again, but not as much as Monday, the first day of trading after one of its Alaska Airlines planes suffered an in-flight blowout over Oregon. The stock lost 1.4% after falling 8% on Monday. Spirit AeroSystems, which makes fuselages and other parts for Boeing, fell 0.4%.

Elsewhere in the airline sector, JetBlue Airways lost 10.2% after CEO Robin Hayes said he would step down for health reasons. He will be replaced by current JetBlue president Joanna Geraghty, who will become the first woman to lead a major U.S. airline.

On the winning side of Wall Street, Illumina gained 4.5% after the biotech company said it expects higher sales by the end of 2023 than analysts forecast. Urban Outfitters rose 7.7% after it said total sales at its stores, including Anthropologie, rose 10% in the final two months of the year compared to 2022 levels.

Nvidia, meanwhile, rose 1.7% to set a record high for the second day in a row. There is a wave of excitement that its chips will remain in huge demand thanks to the boom around artificial intelligence technology. And because it’s one of Wall Street’s biggest stocks, its moves outweigh the S&P500 and different indexes than almost any other company.

A 1.5% gain for Amazon, another one of Wall Street’s titans, also helped limit the S’s losses.&P500, even though seven of the ten stocks in the index fell.

Financial markets have had a slow start to the year after entering 2023 at the end. The S&The P500 had risen to nine consecutive winning weeks to end the year, mainly on rising hopes that the US economy will remain resilient and that the Federal Reserve will sharply cut interest rates through 2024.

Some mixed data lately has added to criticism that Wall Street may have become too optimistic about the number of rate cuts to come.

The Federal Reserve has already raised its key interest rate to the highest level since 2001, hoping to drive down the economy and investment prices and bring inflation under control. Now that inflation has fallen significantly from its peak, the Fed has indicated it will cut rates three times through 2024. That would boost investment prices and relieve pressure on the economy and the financial system.

But traders still expect a more than 50% probability of at least six cuts, or a doubling of the Fed’s forecast, according to data from CME Group. Critics say such a high number is unlikely unless the economy enters a recession.

Treasury yields have already fallen in anticipation of rate cuts and remained relatively stable on Tuesday. The yield on the 10-year government bond rose to 4.02% from 4.01% at the end of Monday.

In the oil market, crude prices recovered some of their sharp losses from the day before, as Saudi Arabia made moves that signaled weakening demand. A barrel of US crude rose $1.47 to $72.24. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.47 to $77.59.

This week’s biggest events for Wall Street will likely come towards the end. On Thursday, the US government will provide its final monthly update on consumer inflation. Continued progress there could reveal whether Wall Street’s hopes for rate cuts are justified or fanciful.

Because expectations for deeper rate cuts are as strong as the Fed is suggesting, “incoming inflation data would have to continue to surprise for the Fed to cut as early as March,” Deutsche Bank economists said.

On Friday, major companies in the S&The P 500 will report their results for the last three months of 2023. The general expectation is that companies in the index will report modest earnings per share growth compared to a year earlier.

On foreign stock markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.2% to its highest close since 1990. Indexes elsewhere showed more modest moves, with many indexes lower.


AP Business Writers Elaine Kurtenbach and Matt Ott contributed.