Wall Street drifts as three-day rally runs out of steam

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are drifting in mixed trading on Wall Street Friday following weaker-than-expected readings on the economy and conflicting profit reports from some big companies.

The S&P 500 was virtually unchanged in morning trading, after a three-day rally carried it to its highest level in six weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 57 points, or 0.2%, at 32.094, as of 10:18 a.m. Eastern time, after American Express gave an encouraging report and said its cardholders are spending more. But the Nasdaq composite was 0.4% lower following weaker-than-expected profit reports from Snap, Seagate Technology and other tech-oriented companies.

Sandwiched between last week’s dispiriting report on inflation and next week’s decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates, this week’s mostly better-than-expected corporate earnings have the S&P 500 on track for its best week in a month.

Falling yields in the bond market have helped, easing the pressure on stocks after expectations for rate hikes by the Fed sent yields soaring earlier this year. The two-year Treasury yield tumbled to 2.95% from 3.09% late Thursday and from 3.14% a week ago.

The drop followed a report that suggested U.S. service industries may be contracting, despite economists’ expectations for continued growth. The preliminary report followed similar data earlier in the morning suggesting an unexpected economic contraction across Europe. The data underscore worries about how fragile the global economy may be as central banks continue jacking up interest rates and making economic conditions more difficult in order to whip inflation.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.76% from 2.91% late Thursday.

In the stock market, American Express jumped 4.4% after it delivered better profit for the spring than analysts expected. It said customers spent more on travel and entertainment during the spring than they did before the pandemic, the first time that’s happened.

The encouraging data bolsters recent comments from CEOs of several big banks, who said their customers appear to be in solid financial shape despite worries about inflation and the economy.

Energy giant Schlumberger rose 6.4% after it also reported stronger profits than expected.

Several big names in the technology field slumped, though, after reporting disappointing figures.

Snap, the company behind the Snapchat app, tumbled 35.6% after it reported a worse loss and weaker revenue for the spring than Wall Street forecast.

Data storage company Seagate Technology lost 6.3% after it said anti-COVID measures in Asia and a slowing global economy last quarter hit its results, which fell short of forecasts.

Verizon fell 5.9% after its profit fell short of forecasts, though its revenue squeaked past. It also cut its forecast for earnings this year, a day after rival AT&T lowered its own forecast for cash generation.

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AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.

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