U.S. stocks waver ahead of retail earnings week

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U.S. stocks waver ahead of retail earnings week
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer 

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks were mostly lower in early trading on Monday ahead of a week of earnings from major retailers, including Walmart (NYSE: WMT ) and Target (NYSE: TGT ), that could give investors hints about the outlook for the holiday shopping season and the remainder of the year.

At 9:42 ET (14:42 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 20 points or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.4%, and the NASDAQ Composite was down 0.9%.

While last week’s inflation report for October showed consumer prices were cooling a bit, many households are still feeling the pinch from higher food and fuel prices and some have shifted their buying habits.

At the same time, major retailers have been holding promotions and early holiday sales days to clear inventory and stoke demand. China’s big e-commerce firms Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. ADR (NYSE: BABA ) and JD.com, Inc. ADR (NASDAQ: JD ) held their annual Singles Day holiday last Friday, but wouldn’t release data on their biggest annual event. They would only say sales were comparable to last year.

Economic data coming this week include retail sales on Wednesday. At the same time, several officials from the Federal Reserve will make speeches, possibly shedding light on the central bank’s approach to interest rates for its next meeting in December.

After the Fed raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage point at four consecutive meetings, it could decide to raise rates by a smaller amount next month. That expectation has helped life tech stocks in recent days.

Shares of Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB ) rose 3.3% and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) stock rose 0.4% rose after the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding (SIX: ROG ) Ltd .  ADR (OTC: RHHBY ) said its drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease didn’t meet the goals of its study. Both Biogen and Lilly are working on their own treatments.

Oatly Group AB ADR (NASDAQ: OTLY ) shares fell 19% after the dairy alternative maker reported a wider than expected loss and revenue that fell short of expectations.

Oil fell. Crude Oil WTI Futures was down 1.4%, to $87.72 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures crude fell 1% to $94.91 a barrel. Gold Futures was flat around $1770.

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