by Daniel Shvartsman
U.S. stock markets dipped in early Wednesday trading as the slow holiday week rolled on without much direction.
The S&P 500 was up a few points as of 10:45am ET (1545 GMT), up 0.1%, after bouncing between red and green, while the NASDAQ Composite pared early losses to trade down 0.2%, and the Russell 2000 climbed back to break-even. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the stand-out, up 102 points or 0.3%.
Reflecting the Nasdaq 's lagging behavior, several tech stocks were among leading losers in early trading, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD ), down 2.8%, Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ), down 2.3%, and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ), down 1%, the last happening in the wake of CEO Elon Musk's most recent and, apparently, final stock sale for the time being.
Rivian Automotive Inc (NASDAQ: RIVN ) traded down 4.7% on news of a delay in the delivery of their bigger trucks and pick-ups. Astra Space Inc (NASDAQ: ASTR ) sold off 8.8% on news hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital had a short position in the name, calling it "2021's worst space SPAC."
On the positive side of the ledger, memory storage maker Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC ) traded up 6% to five-month highs, with Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU ) not far behind, up 2.6%. Tractor Supply (NASDAQ: TSCO ) traded up 2.2%, while Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE ) traded up 1.6%, Gap (NYSE: GPS ) traded up 1.2%, Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ: ROST ) traded up 1.1%, and Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT ) traded up 1.7%, in a strong day for retail. Victoria's Secret added to that tailwind by announcing a $250 million accelerated share buyback plan, and is up 12%.
Crude Oil WTI Futures jumped to be up 1.4% for the day after the EIA crude oil inventories report showed a larger draw then expected on inventories, while Brent Oil Futures also moved up 1.4%. Yesterday's API data showed lower inventories, a bullish sign for the price of oil despite questions whether record case counts of Covid-19 will slow down the economy or have a major effect on people's lives this time around.
Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ: CALM ) pared losses after their earnings report yesterday. The headline report for a slow week, the egg producer missed numbers as they cited labor and feed costs as an issue, both noteworthy as investors sift scant data this week for inflation read-throughs to enter 2022.
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