Investing.com — U.S. stocks were falling, stalling their recent rally as investors worry about Walmart’s outlook on consumer spending heading into the holiday shopping season.
At 09:44 ET (14:44 GMT), the was down 28 points or 0.1%, while the was flat and the was down 0.2%.
Walmart warns about consumer pressures
Walmart (NYSE:), the largest retailer in the U.S., posted net income of $453 million, or 17 cents a share, for the third quarter, a massive improvement from a loss of $1.8 billion, or 66 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.
However, it issued a word of caution around the state of the consumer heading into the crucial holiday shopping season. Shares fell 7.3%.
Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey told CNBC that inflation-hit consumers are still continuing to put off larger purchases as they await promotional periods, echoing comments made by fellow retailer Target on Wednesday, when it pointed to lingering pressures on consumers from higher interest rates and lower savings.
Macy’s (NYSE:), on the other hand, soared 7.5% after the department store chain exceeded expectations in the third quarter and lifted its full-year guidance.
Additionally, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:) stock fell 11.6% after the company cut its full-year revenue and profit forecasts in a sign that demand for its networking equipment was slowing.
Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:) stock fell 7.6% after the cybersecurity company posted solid first-quarter results but issued second-quarter and full-year billing guidance below estimates.
Economic data feeds Fed decision
Fed officials meet next month for the last time this year to decide on interest rates, with futures markets widely expecting the central bank to leave interest rates unchanged in December, before cutting next spring if conditions continue to show improvement.
The main indices on Wall Street closed higher Wednesday, aided by the largest monthly drop in since 2020 in October, which bolstered expectations that the could be near the end of its interest rate increases.
The 30-stock Dow added over 160 points, or 0.5%, while the benchmark S&P gained 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.1%, adding to Tuesday’s sharp gains.
Sentiment was boosted by the news that the Senate passed a stopgap spending bill late Wednesday and sent it to President Joe Biden to sign into law before a weekend deadline, avoiding a damaging partial government shutdown.
Oil slips as U.S. inventories rise
Oil prices retreated Thursday after U.S. inventories rose more than expected, adding to concerns over lackluster energy demand from China.
Data from the U.S. showed that stocks rose a more than expected 3.6 million barrels in the week to November 10, while U.S. production remained at record highs of 13.2 million barrels per day through the week.
In Asia, China’s oil refinery throughput eased in October from the previous month’s highs as industrial fuel demand weakened and refining margins narrowed.
(Peter Nurse and Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)