Stock market today: Asian stocks lower after Wall Street holds steady near record highs

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian markets mostly fell Wednesday after U.S. stocks held near their record levels on a quiet day of trading.

US oil prices and futures fell.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1% to 39,230.50.

Chinese markets fluctuated, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng rising 0.2% to 16,825.00, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.7% to 2,995.40.

China's largest private property developer Country Garden said on Wednesday it faces a winding-up petition after failing to repay a term loan worth HK$1.6 billion ($204.5 million). The first hearing in the case is scheduled for May 17.

The movement comes later China EvergrandeThe world's most indebted real estate developer was ordered into liquidation after a failed attempt to restructure $300 billion at the end of January.

Hong Kong was due to release its fiscal budget, which is expected to include measures to revitalize the troubled property market.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 7,663.50 after the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday the country's inflation rate remained at a two-year low in January, raising hopes that The Reserve Bank may cut its reference interest rate.

South Korea's Kospi gained 0.8% to 2,646.55, while Thailand's SET fell 0.5%.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 added 0.2% to 5,078.18 and was just below its all-time high set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2% to 38,972.41, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.4% to 16,035.30.

Macy's rose 3.4% after reporting better results for the final quarter than feared. He also announced a radical reorganization as he seeks to drive revenue growth.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings rose 19.8% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after saying it is seeing healthy customer demand.

AutoZone accelerated 6.7% after reporting a larger-than-expected profit. Much of its growth last quarter came from its stores in Mexico and Brazil.

Zoom Video Communications rose after beating analysts' profit estimates last quarter. It also announced a program to buy back up to $1.5 billion of its shares, which would send cash directly to shareholders.

Those gainers helped offset a 1.5% drop for Chevron, one of the main reasons for the fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company warned that the pending acquisition of Hess could be threatened.

Cryptocurrency prices have also increased. Bitcoin rose above $57,000 before settling back below the threshold and is already up about a third so far this year.

New exchange-traded funds containing bitcoins They have made it easier to invest in the cryptocurrency, while also boosting business for Coinbase and others who safeguard bitcoins from those ETFs. Coinbase rose 2.7% on Tuesday to bring its year-to-date gain to 14.5%.

Earnings reporting season is coming to a close for the big companies in the S&P 500, and the hope is that a remarkably strong U.S. economy will help earnings grow this year.

A report released Tuesday morning showed that orders for durable manufactured goods were weaker last month than economists expected, but were better than expected after ignoring airplanes and other transportation items.

A separate report said that Confidence among American consumers fell unexpectedly.. Confidence had been rising and it's a figure closely watched on Wall Street because consumer spending makes up the majority of the U.S. economy.

The positive for investors is that the report also showed that inflation expectations among U.S. consumers eased somewhat.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 29 cents to $78.58 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 30 cents to $82.36 a barrel.

The US dollar was stable at 150.50 Japanese yen. The euro fell to $1.0834 from $1.0844.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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