Stocks hold near records with Target, Lowe's earnings in focus

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U.S. stock futures hovered near record highs Wednesday as investors assessed earnings reports from big-box retailers

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 20 points, or 0.06%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 0.01% and 0.16%, respectively. 

The mixed session comes a day after all three of the major averages closed just below all-time highs as the yield on the 10-year note closed at 1.63%, just below its highest point since May, amid concerns the Fed could hike rates sooner than expected to combat inflation. The benchmark yield was higher by one basis point at 1.64% on Wednesday morning. 

In stocks, Target Corp. reported quarterly profit and sales that were ahead of analysts’ expectations but said gross margins were pressured by higher costs. The big-box retailer lifted its same-store sales forecast following a strong start to the holiday shopping season.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. raised its annual sales forecast as strong demand for tools and materials has resulted from a resurgence in home improvement projects. Both earnings and revenue exceeded estimates. 

Qatar Airways said it was considering an order for Boeing Co.’s cargo jets. This comes as Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said it would cancel Boeing and Airbus orders due to uncertainty over delivery dates. 

Amazon.com Inc. said it will stop accepting Visa Inc. credit cards in the U.K. due to high fees for processing transactions. Visa hopes to resolve the situation before the ban goes into effect on Jan. 19.

Pfizer CFO Frank D’Amelio will retire after almost 15 years at the drug company. An external search for his successor is already underway. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 76 cents to $80 a barrel while gold jumped $9.60 to $1863.70 an ounce. 

Overseas markets were choppy. 

European bourses traded mixed with Britain’s FTSE 100 sliding 0.27%, France’s CAC 40 rising 0.03% and Germany’s DAX 30 edging higher by 0.09%. 

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In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.44% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.25% and 0.4%, respectively.