NEW YORK — Stocks shook off some early weakness and turned tentatively higher Wednesday, led by gains in store operators and other retailers.
Retailers had been beaten down in recent days over concerns that soaring inflation was eating into their profits. Some of those concerns dissipated after the high-end department store operator Nordstrom reported higher sales and raised its profit forecast. It’s stock jumped 12.5%.
The S&P 500 rose 0.7% as of 11:03 a.m. Eastern. A modest turn higher in the volatile technology sector helped push the Nasdaq up 1%, erasing its loss for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115 points, or 0.4%, to 32,042.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, fell to 2.74% from 2.76% late Tuesday.
The broader market remains volatile with investors on edge because of rising inflation and its impact on businesses and consumers.
Investors are also concerned about the Federal Reserve’s aggressive plan to raise interest rates to fight inflation and hope the Fed won’t act so aggressively to slow the economy as to cause a recession.
The Fed releases the minutes on Wednesday from its most recent policy meeting, potentially offering more insight into the reasons behind its actions this year.
The S&P 500 gained ground on Monday, but slipped again on Tuesday, dragged down by more losses in the technology sector. The S&P 500 is coming off of a seven-week losing streak.
European markets were higher and Asian markets closed mostly higher.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February added even more pressure to already rising energy costs, making inflation worse for both businesses and consumers. Supply chains became even tighter over the last month as China locked down several major cities to fight rising cases of COVID-19.
Several companies made strong gains after reporting solid financial results and giving investors strong forecasts, despite grappling with persistently rising inflation.
TurboTax software maker Intuit rose 7.4% after raising its profit and revenue forecasts for the year. Caleres, the owner of Famous Footwear, surged 27% after also raising its profit forecasts for the year.
Homebuilder Toll Brothers rose 6.6% after reporting strong profits just a day after that sector stumbled amid a disappointing government report on newly built home sales.
Wendy’s jumped 10.6% after Trian Fund Management, which already owns 19% of the company, said it was considering buying the rest of the company.