Photo: The Canadian Press Specialists James Denaro, left, and Anthony Rinaldi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 15.
U.S. stocks steadied themselves Thursday amid hopes that the heart of the economy — shoppers spending at stores and online — can stay strong and help avert a recession. Caution continued to dominate markets around the world, though, on worries that economies are already sliding down the slope.
The S&P 500 rose modestly in morning trading and clawed back a fraction of its steep losses from the prior day, when stocks tumbled after the bond market sent out a fairly reliable warning signal of recession. Stocks from Tokyo to London, meanwhile, sank after China said it would take “necessary countermeasures” if President Donald Trump follows through on a threat to impose tariffs on more than $100 billion of Chinese goods on Sept. 1.
The U.S. bond market, which has been among the loudest and earliest to cry out warnings about weaker economic growth and inflation, also continued to show concern as yields fell.
Bond prices jerked up and down through the morning, much like markets around the world. Trading has been disjointed in recent weeks as investors flail from one moment of uncertainty around Trump’s trade war to another.
In the U.S., Walmart shares surged 4.4% and helped to steady the market after it said it made a bigger profit in the last three months than Wall Street expected, thanks in part to strong online sales of groceries. A separate government report also showed that retail sales were stronger than economists expected last month.
The S&P was up 0.1%, as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, after flipping between a loss of 0.2% and