Today’s Stock Market: Dropping Earnings Mute Festive Retail Outlook

The market’s reaction to the news that a missile that hit a small town in Poland wasn’t launched from Russia was muted Wednesday. It resulted in weaker-than-expected readings on retail performance from Target TGT offset market relief.

Biden: Missile Not Shot From Russia

An American government official informed the Associated Press that the missile landed late yesterday in the Polish village of Przewodow. The missile shot about 4 miles from the Ukraine border and may have been connected to Ukraine’s air defence system. 

President Joe Biden told reporters at the G20 Summit in Bali that it was “doubtful” that the missile came from Russia based on its path. But he emphasized that NATO allies would continue their investigation.

Traders migrated away from the U.S. Dollar, a usual haven during the geo-political upheaval, which allowed for slight advances in U.S. market futures. Reports of the rocket dampened profits on Wall Street yesterday night and kept down equities overnight in Asia and Europe.

Overnight, the U.S. dollar index fell 0.25 points to 106.152 against other currencies. Whereas benchmark 2-year note rates dropped to 4.354% and 10-year note yields fell to 3.805%.

Earnings from Lowe’s – Get Free Report, Target – Get Free Report, and TJX Companies – Get Free Report will likely keep investors focused on the retail and consumer sector again today. Walmart’s (WMT) (Get Free Report) better-than-expected third-quarter update yesterday indicated solid but not remarkable holiday quarter sentiment.

Target’s CEO Brian Cornell acknowledged a “significant” change in purchasing patterns. It is tied to what he called “inflation, increasing interest rates, and economic uncertainty,” dampening the sector’s surge on Tuesday. 

Target predicted a low single-digit drop in same-store sales for the Christmas quarter. 

With an average operating margin of 4%, down from 4.9% in the previous quarter and 8.5% in the same quarter a year ago. The company’s stock fell 12% in premarket trade, pointing to a bell-time price of $157.55 per share.

Commerce Department To Release October Reading On Retail Sales

At 8:30 am Eastern time, the Commerce Department will release its October retail sales reading. Analysts are anticipating a solid gain in the headline reading driven partly by higher gasoline prices and a moderate drop in the so-called control strategy that strips out energy, gas, food, and other volatile costs.

Futures related to the S&P 500 show a minor drop of 3 points at the opening bell. At the same time, those related to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 30 points. Nasdaq futures are heavily weighted toward technology and anticipate a 38-point increase.

The stock of Lowe’s rose 2.5% after the company reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter and raised its profit prediction for the entire year. Demand for home improvement products has been a significant factor in the success of many of the country’s largest retailers.

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