US Stocks Wobble on Growth, Inflation Concerns

(AP) -- U.S. stocks wobbled between small gains and losses in early trading Wednesday as investors continue to monitor the economic recovery and rising inflation.

The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points, or less than 0.1%, to 34,341 and the Nasdaq rose 0.3%.

A variety of companies that rely on direct consumer spending, such as Nike and Gap, made solid gains. Those companies, along with hotels and cruise lines, are poised for growth as more people get back to some semblance of normal with vaccinations increasing and the pandemic seemingly receding.

Gains from retailers and communications companies were kept in check by lagging healthcare company stocks.

Markets have been bumpy over the last few days as investors move past a stellar corporate earnings season and await additional clues on economic growth. The next update is set for Thursday, when the Commerce Department releases its GDP report for the first quarter. Economists are expecting a huge rebound in 2021 and results from the beginning of the year will give Wall Street a clearer picture moving forward.

The growing economy has also raised inflation concerns, though analysts expect that much of the increase will be tied to economic growth and will be digestible. Much of the concern centers around stronger inflation prompting governments and central banks to roll back economic stimulus and change course on interest rates. Federal Reserve officials have said that they see no need yet to change course.

Bond yields remained relatively steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.55% from 1.56% late Tuesday.

Online retail giant Amazon is buying MGM, the movie and TV studio behind James Bond, "Legally Blonde" and "Shark Tank," with the aim of filling its video streaming service with more shows to watch. The announcement left the stock little changed.

Markets in Europe fell. The FTSE 100 in London fell 0.3%, while Germany's Dax fell 0.2% and France's CAC 40 fell 0.1%. Markets in Asia were broadly higher.