US stocks turn choppy on Wall Street; AMC soars again

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Stock indexes wavered between small gains and losses Wednesday as trading on Wall Street turned choppy for the seconds straight day.

The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% as of 2:22 p.m. Eastern, after wobbling between a gain of 0.4% and a loss of 0.1%. Technology and energy companies helped lift the market. Those gains were kept in check by a pullback in retailers and other companies that rely on consumer spending. Communication, industrial and materials stocks also fell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 23 points, or 0.1%, to 34,600, while the Nasdaq was down 0.2%. Smaller company stocks also fell, pulling the Russell 2000 index 0.1% lower.

Treasury yields were mostly headed lower rising on Tuesday as investors began to look ahead to Friday’s U.S. jobs report, which is expected to show employers added more than 650,000 jobs last month.

Expectations that the upcoming Labor Department report will show a strong increase in hiring have added to worries about inflation and how the Federal Reserve may respond to it. The concern is that the global recovery could be hampered if governments and central banks have to withdraw stimulus to combat rising prices.

Bond yields edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 1.60% from 1.61% late Tuesday.

Technology companies were doing much of the heavy lifting for the benchmark S&P 500. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 2.8%. Payments processor Visa gained 1.5% after giving investors an encouraging financial update.

Energy companies also made broad gains as oil prices ticked more than 1% higher. Occidental Petroleum rose 3.2%.

AMC Entertainment nearly doubled after announcing a program to communicate directly with its large base of individual investors, who have helped send the stock soaring this year. The huge gain came a day after the stock rose 22.7% after announcing a stock sale.

Etsy jumped 7.7% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after the online crafts marketplace said it will buy Depop, an app that’s popular among young people looking to buy and sell used clothing and vintage fashions from the early 2000s.

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