S&P 500 Edges Higher as Tech Steadies, Retailers Rebound

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S&P 500 Edges Higher as Tech Steadies, Retailers Rebound

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 climbed Wednesday, after swinging between gains and losses as the Federal Reserve's May meeting minutes showed the central bank was keen to move quick on rate hikes to cool inflation pressures.   

The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.16%, or 49 points, the Nasdaq was up 0.8%.

"[P]articipants judged that it was important to move expeditiously to a more neutral monetary policy stance," the minutes showed. Fed members were also in favor of hiking rates to above the neutral rate, which neither supports nor curtails economic growth, to a restrictive level. 

Consumer discretionary stocks were the outperforming sector as Nordstrom's quarterly results helped improve sentiment on retailers.

Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN ) reported a wider than expected loss in the first quarter , but revenue jumped to pre-pandemic levels to top Wall Street expectations, sending its shares more than 12% higher.

“JWN has demographics and product category skew advantages at this point in the re-open,” said Credit Suisse (SIX: CSGN ), but also flagged concerns about the uncertain economic backdrop of retailers in the second of half of the year.

Dick’s Sporting Goods' (NYSE: DKS ) reported a softer outlook for the full year, but first-quarter results beat on both the top and bottom lines. Its shares rose more than 8%.

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN ) also reported record sales that overshadowed weaker-than-expected earnings and the impact of rising costs. Wall Street also pointed to strength in the retailer’s Anthropologie and Free People Movement brands.

“Despite the miss…sales at Anthro and FP Movement continue to perform well due to demand for apparel, dresses, and fashion,” B. Riley said in a note. “We continue to believe that URBN has upside as Anthro is seeing a recovery as consumers look for fashion and occassionwear.”

Bath & Body Works (NYSE: BBWI ), Under Armour (NYSE: UAA ), and Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE: RL ) were among the biggest gainers, while a climb in Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) also supported the sector.

Housing stocks, led by Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL ), were also in ascendency, shrugging off recent data pointing to a slowdown in the housing market.

Toll Brothers reported better-than-expected quarterly results , buoyed by strong demand for housing, though the home builder highlighted the impact of rising mortgage rates and softer macroeconomic conditions.

Lennar (NYSE: LEN ), PulteGroup Inc (NYSE: PHM ), and TRI Pointe Homes (NYSE: TPH ) were higher.

Technology, meanwhile, cut some losses as big tech including Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) moved off session lows. 

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA ) was up more than 4% ahead of its quarterly results due after the market closes.

In other news, Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND ) jumped more than 11% after the meatless company announced an endorsement deal with influencer Kim Kardashian.

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