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Current Stock Market News Updates: November 17, 2022

U.S. stock futures stumbled in morning trade on Thursday as optimism about easing inflation faded and investors analyzed a patchwork of corporate earnings.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell 0.6%, while contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell by the same percentage, or about 190 points. Futures on the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) were down 0.7%.

A recent rally across equity markets lost steam after strong retail sales data from October offset hopes of a shift in central bank policy, recently revived by a series of lighter inflation reports. An earnings miss from Target also weighed on sentiment in Wednesday̵[ads1]7;s session, with the company citing inflation and a worsening economic backdrop ahead of the key holiday shopping season.

Other industry colleagues fared better in the period.

Macy’s ( M ) shares rose more than 9% ahead of the open after the department store giant beat estimates and boosted its full-year results, driven by strong demand in the luxury areas of the business. Kohl’s ( KSS ), meanwhile, topped earnings expectations but pulled back its full-year outlook due to “significant” macroeconomic headwinds and the unexpected change of CEO. Shares fell 4% before the market.

Shares of Bath & Body Works ( BBWI ) rose nearly 22% in extended trading Thursday after the personal care and home fragrance maker lifted its full-year earnings outlook. Retailers Walmart (WMT), Lowe’s (LOW), Home Depot (HD), all beat analyst estimates.

Elsewhere, as the earnings season reaches its final stretch, Nvidia ( NVDA ) CEO Jensen Huang said strong chip demand will help the company through potential financial challenges — an insurance that was enough to offset losses in its gaming business. The stock rose about 1.5% before the open.

Machine maker Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) saw shares jump 4% in premarket hours after the company delivered a positive earnings outlook and said it was cutting its workforce and reducing office space.

Current Stock Market News Updates: November 17, 2022

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a press conference after his re-election as minority leader at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Meanwhile, Republicans in Washington DC won a majority in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, resulting in shared control of the US Congress – a positive sign for investors as stocks have historically performed better in times of political crisis.

Nevertheless, strategists have argued that inflation and economic conditions remain the central focus of the markets. Head of asset management, global strategist Seema Shah, said the result should be “largely irrelevant to the broad market outlook”.

“Instead, it is historically high inflation, the Fed’s inflationary response and the resulting risk of recession, combined with key structural policy decisions, that will determine the market’s direction.”

On that front, investors are in for a productive day of Fedspeak, with several Federal Reserve members scheduled to give public comments across the country on Thursday.

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly said in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday that a rate break is currently not an option, while indicating that the federal funds rate could reach the 4.75%-5.25% range.

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said Wednesday that fresh economic data made him more comfortable with the possibility of a 50 basis point hike at the central bank’s December meeting.

Goldman Sachs, while forecasting a 0.50% hike next month, added another quarter-point hike in May 2023 to its outlook, raising expectations for the top federal funds rate to 5-5.25%.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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