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Stock market today: Markets bounce back modestly with focus still on retail sector, consumers

by Joshua Brown
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Today in Tokyo, stock markets are doing very differently. Japan’s stock market has gone up by 0.8% due to good economic reports, but other countries in the area aren’t as lucky. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 has dropped by 0.5%, despite their wages going up more than expected – 3.7%! Analysts think this might mean an upcoming interest rate increase soon.

Stock markets saw mixed results in Asia today. Kospi, the stock market from South Korea, went up by 0.6%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng went down by 1.2%. Shanghai Composite dropped slightly with a 0.4% decrease.

Japan released some good news earlier today – their GDP ( Gross Domestic Product) report showed that consumption went back to normal after COVID-19 restrictions were loosened and more tourists can now visit the country again.

Japan’s economy, the world’s third largest in size, increased by 1.6% during the three months up until March which is its biggest growth since April-June 2022 when it was 1.1%. Exports have gone down because of global demand being weak. People are worried about how well China and America’s economies are doing, making investors more nervous.

Recent reports from China show that the country’s economy is not recovering as quickly as it was expected to. Although people are starting to spend money again, experts worry that most of the recovery has already happened and won’t happen again. According to Anderson Alves from ActivTrades, this could be something we should be concerned about.

The stock market saw some changes today. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite all went down in points. Specifically, the S&P 500 went down 26.38 points, the Dow Jones dropped 336.46 points, and the Nasdaq slipped 22.16 points.

Tuesday was a bad day on the stock market for certain companies, such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Home Depot. All these companies saw their stocks drop – 2.4%, 2.3% and 2.2% respectively – because they lost more money than expected in the last three months. This week, we will also learn how other big stores like Target and Walmart performed recently.

Right now, how much money U.S. people spend can either save the economy from a recession or make it worse. If their confidence in shopping weakens, that could mean trouble ahead. Also, prices have gone up because of higher interest rates which has made some parts of the economy start to struggle.

The news reported Tuesday revealed that stores in the U.S. got some business, but not as much as people had thought. Brian Jacobsen from Annex Wealth Management said that although people feel good, their purchases don’t reflect it – particularly when it comes to expensive items and things like sporting goods.

The prices for bonds went up after some news reports. The 10-year Treasury – which is the cost of loans like mortgages – increased to 3.54% from 3.51%. Meanwhile, the two-year Treasury rate – which changes depending on what the U.S. Federal Reserve does – got higher from 4.01% to 4.07%. Lastly, the price of regular oil decreased by 67 cents and stood at $70.19 a barrel while Brent crude oil dropped by 64 cents and stayed at $74.27 per barrel.

The U.S dollar went up to 136.71 Japanese yen, making it more expensive than before. The euro however stayed at the same value, being $1.0868 per euro.

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