Stocks wobble on Wall Street ahead of retailer earnings

<p><p>Stocks wobbled in midday trading on Wall Street Monday as the market comes off its first weekly loss in six weeks.</p></p><p><p>The S&amp;P 500 fell 0.1% as of 11:56 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to 36,109 and the Nasdaq fell 0.3%.</p></p><p><p>Banks and other financial companies made gains, along with utilities and a mix of household and consumer goods companies.</p></p><p><p>Technology stocks fell and countered gains elsewhere in the market, while U.S. crude oil prices fell 1% and left energy companies mixed.</p></p><p><p>A broad variety of companies that rely on direct consumer spending for goods and services were also mixed.</p></p><p><p>Dollar Tree jumped 13.6% following reports that activist investor Mantle Ridge plans to push the discount retailer to take measures to increase its stock value.</p></p><p><p>Tesla continued sliding after CEO Elon Musk’s move to sell a chunk of his stock. The electric vehicle maker’s stock fell 4.2% on Monday and shed 15% last week.</p></p><p><p>Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.62% from 1.58% late Friday.</p></p><p><p>E-commerce mattress maker <a href=”″ target=”—blank”>Casper</a> surged 85% following news that is being acquired and taken private for about $308 million, less than a year after its public debut.</p></p><p><p>Buyout news helped lift several other companies. Data center owners and operators CyrusOne rose 4.7% and and CoreSite rose 2.8% after announcing separate deals.</p></p><p><p>Investors will get an update on the health of the retail sector this week as several big retailers report their latest quarterly results.</p></p><p><p>Home Depot and Walmart will report on Tuesday, followed by Target on Wednesday and Macy’s on Thursday.</p></p><p><p>Wall Street will also get a broader view on spending trends when the Commerce Department releases its retail sales report on Tuesday.</p></p><p><p>Investors will be watching for any signs that inflation is crimping business operations or consumer spending.</p></p><p><p>Businesses have had to raise prices on a variety of goods to offset higher raw materials costs and are facing a wide range of supply chain problems.</p></p><p><p><a href=”” target=”—blank”>Consumers have so far taken price increases in stride</a>, but analysts are concerned that they could start to pull back on spending because of the persistently rising inflation.</p></p><p><p>Discouraging reports on inflation from the Labor Department last week tripped up the broader market and sent major indexes to their first weekly loss in six weeks.</p></p>