Wall Street was little changed in late morning trading on Tuesday as a drop in consumer discretionary and energy shares offset gains in financials. Home Depot’s 3.9 percent fall weighed the most on the Dow and the S&P. Although the company’s quarterly earnings and comparable sales were strong, investors appeared to be worried about supply constraints in the housing market that could be a drag on Home Depot’s future earnings.
Shares of smaller rival Lowes Cos were down 3 percent. The consumer discretionary index also took a hit from weak earnings at companies such as Coach and Advance Auto Parts.
However, losses were capped by a rise in financial stocks, led by Synchrony Financial’s 4 percent rise. The company’s shares got a lift after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said it had added a stake in the company. “Equities are headed towards pause mode,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
“There continues to be concerns over geopolitics, valuations, interest rates and perhaps to a degree, seasonal fatigue.”
At 11:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 6.4 points, or 0.03 percent, at 22,000.11 and the S&P 500 was down 1.39 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,464.45.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.28 points, or 0.08 percent, at 6,334.95. Oil prices fell, extending the prior session’s heavy sell-off as the dollar rose more and as signs of weaker petroleum demand in China weighed the market down for a second day.
The markets had rebounded in the last two sessions after a standoff between the United States and North Korea showed signs of easing.
Data showed U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles as well as discretionary spending.
The data helped the dollar touch its highest level against a basket of major currencies in nearly three weeks. Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,799 to 946. On the Nasdaq, 1,671 issues fell and 1,016 advanced.