U.S. stocks wavered in choppy trading Thursday following a slew of mixed earnings and a surprise rate hike from the European Central Bank.
The benchmark S&P 500 index ticked up 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 120 points, or roughly 0.4% as of 11:45 a.m. ET. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged down 0.4%.
AT&T (T) shares fell as much as 10% despite reporting earnings that beat estimates after the company revealed a lowered outlook for annual free cash flow.
Meanwhile, United Airlines (UAL) stock declined 9% after the company posted lower-than-expected second-quarter results as inflationary pressures drove higher operating expenses and fuel costs that bit into its profit.
Another big development this morning came from across the Atlantic, with the ECB electing to raise interest rates by 0.50%, the first interest rate increase from the central bank since 2011 and its largest increase since 2000.
Investors had expected the ECB to raised rates by 0.25% in Thursday’s decision.
Following this move, the euro was slightly stronger against the dollar, trading above 1.025 after having reached parity with the greenback earlier this month.
Stateside, investors remain focused on whether stocks can rise for a third-straight day on Thursday after tech shares rallied during Wednesday’s trading session.
Tesla (TSLA) was in focus after reporting earnings following market close Wednesday that topped analyst estimates but said automotive gross margins fell from the previous quarter. Shares were up roughly 2% before the bell.
“Only earnings truly matter; other issues are simply sidebars to that main narrative,” Nicholas Colas, Co-founder of DataTrek research said in a Thursday morning note, adding that Fed policy, investor confidence, and events may shock the system and understanding them can provide helpful context. “Ultimately, however, stock prices fundamentally reflect the market’s best guess of sustainable future corporate earnings.”
Europe also anticipated the restart of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline – the biggest single pipeline carrying gas from Russia to Germany – after the end of a planned pause for maintenance.
On the domestic front, economic data showed the labor market continued to soften last week.
The latest report on weekly filings for unemployment insurance showed 251,000 people filed first-time claims for unemployment last week, the most since November 2021.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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