Stocks are mixed, oil prices rise despite release of crude

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Stocks were mixed in choppy trading on Wall Street Tuesday, keeping the major indexes hovering near their recent all-time highs.

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% as of 3:40 p.m. Eastern, after spending much of the day wavering between small gains and losses. The benchmark index is coming off two straight drops after setting a record high last Thursday. Losses in big technology stocks and a mix of companies that rely on consumer spending tempered gains elsewhere in the index.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 192 points, or 0.5%, to 35,811, and the Nasdaq fell 0.6%.

Bond yields edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.67% from 1.63% late Monday. That helped send banks higher. JPMorgan Chase rose 2.3%

The price of U.S. crude oil rose 2.3% and wholesale gasoline rose 3.4% despite the fact that President Joe Biden ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from the nation’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs. The move was made in concert with other big oil-consuming nations.

Oil and gas companies made solid gains as energy prices rose. Devon Energy rose 5%.

Several travel-related companies gained ground ahead as people prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Hilton Worldwide rose 0.8% and Booking Holdings rose 2%.

Retailers were mixed ahead of the official start of the key holiday shopping season. Discount retailer Dollar Tree jumped 9.2% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Starbucks rose 1.4%. Best Buy slumped 13.2%, the biggest drop in the S&P 500, as concerns about tighter margins outweighed solid earnings.

Technology and communications companies also weighed on the broader market. Chipmaker Nvidia fell 1.3% and Microsoft dropped 0.8%.

Zoom Video sank 13.6% a day after the video conferencing company reported that its third-quarter revenue growth slowed.

Investors are facing a holiday-shortened week. Markets are closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early on Friday.

Wall Street will get a few pieces of economic data on Wednesday that could give investors a better sense of the economic recovery’s pace and breadth. The Labor Department will release its weekly report on unemployment benefits. The Commerce Department releases data on third-quarter gross domestic product and its new home sales report for October.

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its October interest-rate meeting, potentially giving investors more details on the central bank’s plan to start trimming bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low.

Investors have been watching to see if pressure from rising inflation will goad the Fed into speeding up its plans for trimming bond purchases and raising its benchmark interest rate.

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