Stocks open a bit higher ahead of earnings, inflation data

Stocks are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday as traders wait for more data on inflation and corporate earnings this week. The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in the early going, as was the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Technology stocks were doing better than the rest of the market, and that helped send the Nasdaq up 0.3%. Chipmaker Nvidia added 1.3% and rose 1.7%. U.S. crude oil prices were holding near $80 a barrel. European markets were mostly lower and Asian markets also closed mostly lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.61%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

World shares retreated on Tuesday as surging prices of oil, coal and other energy added to concerns over inflation.

Benchmarks fell in Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Oil prices extended gains, having closed above $80 per barrel in New York after trading briefly above $81 per barrel on Monday for the first time in seven years.

Costs of oil, coal and natural gas have been climbing, adding to concerns that price pressures might lead the Federal Reserve and other central banks to pull back more quickly on their support for markets.

Germany’s DAX lost 0.7% to 15,096.43 and the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.8% to 6,518.71. In London, the FTSE 100 sank 0.6% to 7,106.92.

U.S. shares looked set to open lower, with the future for the Dow industrials 0.1% lower. The future for the S&P 500 also was down 0.1%.

On Monday, the S&P 500 lost 0.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell 0.7%. The Nasdaq fell 0.6%. Most sectors finished in the red.

Energy demand has bounced back faster than output as economies recover from the pandemic, driving prices higher. Other factors, including a shortage of truck drivers, shipping disruptions, flooding of coal mines in China and drought that has dented hydropower generation are also pushing prices higher.

“Energy crisis uncertainty will likely keep crude prices heading higher until the oil market seems likely it is heading towards balance. The natural gas shortage is not going away anytime soon and that will keep providing additional demand for crude,” Edward Moya of Oanda said in a commentary.

U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 18 cents to $80.70 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 1.5% to $80.52 per barrel on Monday.

Brent crude, the international pricing standard, picked up 25 cents to $83.90 per barrel.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.9% to 28,230.61, while the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3% to 7,280.70. In Seoul, the Kospi fell 1.4% to 2,916.38

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gave up 1.4% to 24,962.59 and the Shanghai Composite index declined 1.3% to 3,546.94.

Technology company shares fell after the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese regulators are inspecting banks’ financial ties with private sector companies.

Shares in e-commerce giant Alibaba Group lost 3.9% while search engine company Baidu declined 4%.Tencent Holdings, which operates the popular WeChat messaging service, dropped 2.6%.

Shares fell in Taiwan, but rose in India and Thailand.

Stocks have been swaying between between gains and losses as investors try to better gauge the direction of the economic recovery through the rest of the year. Investors are looking ahead to the beginning of corporate earnings this week, which might offer insights over how companies are faring.

Companies in a wide range of industries are warning that supply chain problems and higher raw materials costs could crimp their financial results for the rest of the year. Wall Street is closely monitoring whether those higher costs and resulting higher prices for goods will hurt consumer spending, which is a key driver of economic growth.

Banks will be among the first big companies to report their latest financial results.

JPMorgan Chase delivers its results on Wednesday. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup will report results on Thursday.

Investors are also looking ahead to economic data that could shed more light on what’s going on with inflation. The Labor Department will release its Consumer Price Index on Wednesday and its Producer Price Index on Thursday. The reports detail pressure from inflation on consumers and businesses.

In other trading Tuesday, the U.S. dollar rose to 113.40 Japanese yen from 113.32 yen late Monday. The euro climbed to $1.1561 from $1.1553.

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