On Wall Street, the stock index became mixed, with Wal-Mart raising the Dow Jones Index.

On Wall Street, the stock index became mixed, with Wal-Mart raising the Dow Jones Index.

The Wall Street stock index was mixed Tuesday afternoon as investors took a close look at the encouraging financial results of most major retailers.

The S&P 500 Index was down 0.1 percent as of 3:11 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 184 points (0.5 percent) to 34,096, and the Nasdaq Index fell 0.5 percent.

Shares of Wal-Mart rose 5.5 percent after the nation’s largest retailer announced strong results that beat analysts’ expectations. Home Depot also rose 4.2 percent after announcing better-than-expected results. Both companies’ profits boosted the Dow index significantly.

Shares of technology, health care and energy companies fell, limiting their entry into the market. Shares of Broadcom fell 1.5%, Moderna fell 4.9%, and Marathon Oil fell 1.3%.

Retailers, consumer goods makers and banks made solid gains.

Smaller companies also fell, with the Russell 2000 Index down 0.2%.

Bond yields rose. The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose to 2.82% from 2.79% late Monday.

U.S. crude oil prices were down 3.2%. European markets generally rose, while Asian markets closed mixed overnight.

Stocks hit a year and a half high in July and are on a winning streak in August on hopes that inflation is easing. The recent government report on consumer prices showed that inflation was virtually unchanged from June through July.

Commerce continues to struggle as major indexes fluctuate between declines throughout the day.

Recent retailer results show that consumption remains resilient even as consumers face the highest inflation in 40 years. Wall Street is concerned that rising prices on everything from food to clothing could end up undermining consumer spending, the main engine of economic growth. Investors will get more information about the retail sector this week when Target releases its results Wednesday.

The Commerce Department will release its retail sales report for July on Wednesday. Economic experts polled by Factset expect a modest 0.2 percent increase from June, when sales rose 1 percent.

The retail sales report recently put a cap on corporate earnings, and investors are watching closely to understand the impact of inflation on businesses and consumers, and to gauge how the Federal Reserve will respond. The central bank is raising interest rates in an attempt to slow economic growth and curb inflation, but there is a risk that it will step on the brakes too hard and drive the economy into recession.

Investors are looking for signs that inflation is peaking or falling, hoping the Fed can ease its aggressive policy of raising rates. In July, the Bank of Japan raised its benchmark interest rate for the second year in a row by three-quarters of a point. With the release of the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on Wednesday, Wall Street will have more information about the decision-making process.

According to CME’s FedWatch tool, investors currently expect a half-point rate hike at the Fed’s upcoming August meeting.

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