U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday despite a continuation of blowout earnings reports from Nvidia, Macy’s and Kohl’s as investors grappled with seasonal worries about Covid and ongoing inflation concerns.
The Dow fell 176 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 lost 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.4%.
Trading has been choppy this week with the major averages mostly wavering around the flat line, but the S&P and Nasdaq are still on track for a positive week and are sitting less than 1% from their records. The Dow is more than 2% from its record.
The broad market index began selling off when after a failed attempt to break through the 4,700 mark, according to Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Management. The markets are in a normal seasonal lull coming off earnings season, as well as seasonal Covid concerns, he added.
Nvidia shares advanced nearly 10% after beating on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly results and issuing a bullish revenue forecast for the current quarter ending in January. The chipmaker saw a 55% gain in data center sales from the same period a year ago 42% increase in gaming, its biggest market.
Those gains helped lift other chip stocks trading. Advanced Micro Devices gained more than 4%. Qualcomm and Micron Technology added about 2%. Separately, GlobalFoundries saw a big pop after revealing it entered a partnership with Ford to help the automaker increase its chip supply. It was last about 4% higher.
Retail continued its big earnings week. Shares of Macy’s and Kohl’s kicked the day off smashing quarterly profit and revenue estimates, much like their peers who reported earlier in the week.
Macy’s said same-store sales grew 35.6% and digital sales increased by 19%. It also teased the launch of a digital marketplace next year, and said 41% of its 4.4 million new customers in the quarter came through the digital channel. The company’s shares jumped almost 20%. Kohl’s similarly saw gains in same-store sales growth and digital. Its shares added more than 6%.
Elsewhere, Deere saw its shares rise more than 2% after it came to a resolution with workers who had been on strike since Oct. 14.
Dow component Boeing also saw its shares rise another 1% following an upgrade from JPMorgan, which said the aerospace giant has significant upside as it clears up several issues that have dogged the company.
Going in the other direction, Cisco Systems fell 8% due to weaker revenue guidance and a revenue miss. Kraft Heinz shares also dropped more than 3% after the company announced a secondary offering of common stock.
Initial filings for unemployment insurance fell slightly to 268,000 for the week ending Nov. 13, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That was the lowest level since March 2020, and the seventh straight weekly decline. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected them to have fallen to 260,000, compared to the previous week’s adjusted 269,000 claims.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 211 points, dragged down by a 4.7% loss in Visa shares. The S&P 500 dipped 0.26%. The Nasdaq Composite ticked 0.33% lower, despite most mega-cap technology companies closing in the green.
The small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 was the relative underperformer on Wednesday, dropping 1.2%.
“Recent economic reports remain strong, but today’s stock market action highlights that it is already discounting another Covid cycle,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for Leuthold Group.
“Concerns about Covid also caused the 10-year bond yield to decline for the first time in 6 days and kept downward pressure on commodity prices including another sizable drop in crude oil prices. If inflation keeps rising while another Covid surge again stalls real economic activity, we may find out how the stock market handles a pseudo-stagflationary episode,” he added.