The Dow has fallen as losses in Cisco shares due to slowing product demand clouded Walmart’s strong annual forecast and hopes of a deal to avoid a catastrophic debt default.
Dow Jones Industrial Average constituent Cisco Systems Inc slipped 1.7 per cent after it said a large backlog of products weighed on demand for new orders from customers.
Shares of Walmart Inc rose 2.8 per cent after the retailer raised its annual sales and profit targets, benefiting from inflation-wary consumers trading down to cheaper groceries.
Results earlier this week from retailers such as Target Corp, Home Depot Inc and TJX Companies Inc have also shown consumers turning away from non-essentials such as electronics and home goods due to high inflation.
“Walmart earnings were very solid, which is a big driver. And you got a little follow through from the optimism around getting a (debt ceiling) deal done,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital LLC.
In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 79.10 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 33,341.67, the S&P 500 was down 0.96 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 4,157.81, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 37.03 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 12,537.59.
Netflix Inc rose 4.5 per cent after saying its recently launched ad-supported tier reached nearly 5 million active users per month.
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc jumped 11.7 per cent as it beat estimates for quarterly adjusted sales.
Wall Street’s main indexes ended the previous session higher after President Joe Biden and top US congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy reiterated their aim to strike a deal soon to raise the $US31.4 trillion ($A47.2 trillion) federal debt ceiling and agreed to talk as soon as Sunday.
Meanwhile, data showed the number of people in the US filing new claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting the labour market remains tight.
“What (investors) are looking at is still an economy that’s doing okay but still showing some signs of weakness. Because the job picture is stronger, it means that the Fed is not likely to sit on the sidelines,” said Paul Nolte senior wealth adviser and market strategist at Murphy & Sylvest.
The labour market and inflation readings are being closely watched for any signs of stress from the Federal Reserve’s most aggressive interest rate hikes in decades.
Investors also digested comments from Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Lorie Logan and Fed Governor Philip Jefferson on economic growth and the path of monetary policy.
Bath & Body Works Inc gained 8.7 per cent after the beauty and skincare firm raised its annual profit forecast.
Chipmaker Micron Technology Inc’s shares gained 3.0 per cent as it plans to invest up to 500 billion yen ($A5.56 billion) in Japan for new chips over the next few years.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.30-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 12 new 52-week highs and no new low while the Nasdaq recorded 34 new highs and 16 new lows.