Stocks Shake Off an Early Loss, Turn Higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks shook off some early weakness and turned tentatively higher Wednesday, led by gains in store operators and other retailers.

Retailers had been 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 raise it profit forecast.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8% as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern . A modest turn higher in the volatile technology sector helped push the Nasdaq up 1.2%, erasing its loss for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points, or 0.1%, to 31,953.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, held steady at 2.76%.

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 S&P 500 gained ground on Monday, but slipped again on Tuesday as warnings from big retailers about inflation piled up. That has been a key concern throughout the latest corporate earnings season and has kept major indexes in a slump. The S&P 500 is coming off of a seven-week losing streak.

European markets were higher and Asian markets closed mostly higher.

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.

Also on Wednesday, there was an increasingly downcast view of the months ahead from corporate leaders, government officials and other VIPs gathered at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.