Stocks choppy after Fed minutes signal inflation woes

Oil held at the $78 per barrel level

U.S. stocks ended the session mixed in what was a choppy session after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting showed inflation concerns could mean rate hikes come sooner than telegraphed. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 9 points or 0.03%%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted late-day gains of 0.44% and 0.23%, respectively. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34639.79 +617.75 +1.82%
SP500 S&P 500 4577.1 +64.06 +1.42%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15381.319749 +127.27 +0.83%

Financial markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, followed by a shortened session on Friday when markets close at 1 pm ET. 

Oil held at the $78 per barrel level after gaining over 2% Tuesday despite President Biden's mandate to release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs. The move was made in concert with other big oil-consuming nations, including Japan. OPEC members are set to meet on December 1 and are said to be reviewing the U.S. developments. 

Major oil names including ExxonMobil and Chevron inched higher. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 61.28 +1.49 +2.49%
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 115.14 +3.04 +2.71%
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 48.29 +1.25 +2.66%
GAS n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

In stocks, Nordstrom's and Gap both saw sharp declines after reporting disappointing quarterly results. 

The high-end department store chain reported profits of $0.39 per share well below the $0.57 analysts were expecting, although it did reiterate its full-year forecast. The stock, off over 29%, posted its worst drop on record. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JWN NORDSTROM, INC. 20.56 +0.53 +2.65%
GPS GAP, INC. 16.30 +0.32 +2.00%

While Gap lowered its full-year forecast which pushed the stock to its second-largest one-day percent decline on record, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group. 

Tesla shares slipped after CEO Elon Musk sold another $1B of shares, while also exercising options to buy over $2 million shares, according to an SEC Filing. 

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 1,084.60 -10.40 -0.95%

In economic news, a barrage of reports rolled in ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

  • The second estimate of 3Q GDP came in at 2.1% slightly ahead of the prior 2.0% check but well below the 6.6% growth rate in the second quarter.
  • The Labor Department reported new claims for unemployment benefits for last week totaled 199,000 ahead of the prior week's 268,000. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to slip by to 2.049 million.
  • Durable Goods declined by 0.5% as orders of big tickets items weakened further after dipping 0.3% in the prior read.
  • And on inflation, prices soared by 5% in the year through October, according to the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index data released Wednesday. That topped the previous month's estimates, becoming the fastest pace increase since November 1990.

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FOX Business' Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.