Stock market news live updates: Stocks rise, led by tech as Nvidia jumps after earnings

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Stocks traded mixed on Thursday as investors weighed a batch of solid corporate earnings results against lingering inflation concerns. 

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The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were higher intraday in a choppy session. Despite some volatility this week, the S&P 500 remained higher by 1.8% for November to date through Wednesday’s close, and hovered less than 0.7% below its all-time intraday high. 

The Dow lagged, led by a drop in shares of Cisco (CSCO). The company posted quarterly results that were dented by components shortages, and the computer networking equipment company posted a disappointing current-quarter forecast. And meanwhile, Alibaba’s (BABA) sharply disappointing quarterly report and slashed guidance for the full year raised alarm bells about the pace of growth in China — the world’s second-largest economy — as company executives highlighted slowing consumption trends

Nvidia (NVDA) shares jumped, however, after the semiconductor company posted record quarterly revenues and strong full-year guidance. The report suggested it was effectively navigating a lingering global shortage and meeting elevated demand. 

The past could days of equity market declines have coincided with a mixed set of economic data, with a new print Thursday showing jobless claims ticked down only modestly last week, and a report Wednesday showing a surprise drop in new-home construction last month. Commentary about inflation also mounted and added to investors’ concerns over elevated price pressures. Target (TGT) executives flagged rising labor and other input costs during their earnings call on Wednesday and added to a chorus of other company mentions of inflation. 

The possibility that elevated inflation will stick around longer than previously anticipated remained a central focus for investors, both for its potential dampening effect on consumer spending, and as a potential catalyst for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than previously telegraphed. The U.S. central bank has so far maintained its accommodative tilt and telegraphed that an initial interest rate hike could take place sometime next year, depending on the evolution of the economic recovery. Investors also continue to await a formal announcement from President Joe Biden about his nominee for Fed chair, with the most likely candidates being current Fed Chair Jerome Powell, and current Fed Governor Lael Brainard.

The Fed’s present still-accommodative leaning has helped support equity markets and capped Treasury yields, which has in turn further kept investors focused on riskier assets like stocks over bonds. 

“The yield question is kind of global in nature,” Uma Pattarkine, CenterSquare senior analyst, told Yahoo Finance Live on Wednesday. “We still see [central] banks being very, very accommodative. So it seems like we might be kind of in this ‘lower rate for a longer time’ environment. 

“At this point investors really need to be looking at yields, where they can get it elsewhere in the market if they’re not planning on getting it through fixed income in the near future, until we see that movement in the global rate market,” Pattarkine added.   

10:11 a.m. ET: Macy’s shares jump more than 18% after topping 3Q results, raising guidance

Macy’s (M) became the latest retailer to exceed quarterly estimates this week, suggesting U.S. consumer spending was staying solid and foot traffic to department stores was rebounding more quickly than expected. 

Macy’s owned plus licensed comparable same-store sales jumped by 35.6%, exceeding the 33.5% growth rate expected, based on Bloomberg consensus data. The company also swung back to a profit, with adjusted earnings coming in at $1.23 per share, following a loss of 19 cents a share in the same quarter last year. Gross margins expanded by about 100 basis points, “driven by stronger regular price selling, fewer markdowns” that offset rising delivery costs, CEO Jeff Gennette said during the company’s earnings call. 

“On the health of the customer, we definitely see that continuing,” Gennette added. 

For the full year, Macy’s sees adjusted earnings coming in between $4.57 to $4.76 per share, marking a significant increase from its prior outlook for $3.41 to $3.75 a share. 

9:50 a.m. ET: Alibaba shares slide after missing earnings estimates, slashing guidance

Alibaba posted September quarter results and guidance that sharply missed estimates, with a slowing economic environment in China and efforts to contain the coronavirus in the region weighing on consumer spending on the e-commerce platform.

“Over the last 6 months, we have observed softer market conditions with slowing consumption growth in China,” Alibaba Chief Financial Officer Wei Wu said during the company’s earnings call Thursday. “Given slower-than-expected domestic consumption growth, since we provided our revenue guidance in May, we now expect our fiscal ’22 revenue growth to be 20-23% year-over-year.” 

Consensus analysts were expecting full-year sales growth of 27%, based on Bloomberg data. 

For Alibaba’s latest reported quarter, sales grew by a smaller-than-expected 29% to reach 200.7 billion yuan ($31.4 billion), whereas analysts were looking for 206.2 billion yuan. Adjusted earnings per American depository share were 11.20 yuan, also short of the 12.37 expected. The weakness was mostly contained to Alibaba’s core retail business, with its newer cloud computing business posting a 33% rise in revenue during the quarter. 

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks mixed, tech leads Nasdaq higher 

Here’s where markets were trading shortly after market open on Thursday: 

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +8.82 (+0.19%) to 4,697.49

  • Dow (^DJI): -20.03 (-0.06%) to 35,913.81

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +24.55 (+0.15%) to 15,941.73

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.45 (+0.57%) to $78.81 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$5.60 (-0.3%) to $1,864.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): unchanged to yield 1.6040%

8:35 a.m. ET: Initial unemployment claims come in slightly higher-than-expected, but still reach fresh pandemic-era low

First-time unemployment claims narrowly set a new pandemic-era low last week, representing further steady progress in the labor market’s recovery as the number of those newly unemployed marched closer to pre-pandemic levels. 

New unemployment claims came in at 268,000 during the week ended Nov. 13. This was down by a tick compared to the upwardly revised 269,000 reported for the previous week. Consensus economists were looking for new claims to come in at 260,000 for the latest period, according to Bloomberg data.

Continuing claims across regular state programs also came in at their lowest level since March 2020 at 2.080 million for the week ended Nov. 6. This was a bigger improvement than expected, since economists were looking for continuing claims to total 2.120 million. 

7:32 a.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures advance 

Here’s where markets were trading Thursday morning:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +11.75 points (+0.25%), to 4,696.00

  • Dow futures (YM=F): +34 points (+0.09%), to 35,901.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +84.25 points (+0.52%) to 16,395.75

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.67 (-0.84%) to $77.69 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$4.20 (-0.22%) to $1,866.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.5 bps to yield 1.599%

6:17 p.m. ET Wednesday: Stock futures open mixed 

Here’s where markets were trading Wednesday evening:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +0.5 points (+0.01%), to 4,686.75

  • Dow futures (YM=F): -34 points (-0.09%), to 35,833.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +18 points (+0.11%) to 16,329.5

© Provided by Yahoo! Finance A man walks past the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on May 10, 202 in New York City. – Wall Street stocks were mixed early May 10, 2021 ahead of key consumer price and retail sales data expected to influence the outlook for US monetary policy. Major stock indices closed at records Friday following a disappointing April jobs report that bolstered expectations the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for a long period of time to support the economic recovery. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter

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