Stocks Open Lower After Strong Retail Data

The data showed retail sales rose 3% in January, bouncing back from recent declines as jobs growth accelerated. Government bond yields rose after the data, with 10-year Treasury yields climbing to 3.78% from 3.76% Tuesday.

Stocks have wavered in recent days. Investors are weighing signs of strength in the economy against the concern that inflation remains elevated even after slowing in recent months and will encourage the Fed to press ahead with efforts to tighten monetary policy.

“There’s this pull-push as the market tries to find a resolution in terms of its view on the U.S. economy,” said Jane Foley, head of a foreign-exchange strategy at Rabobank.

Investors have started to come to the Fed’s view that a robust jobs market will stop the central bank from cutting interest rates later this year, but there are still flashes of optimism when stocks rise, Ms. Foley added.

Airbnb rose 8.1% in individual stocks after quarterly earnings beat analysts’ forecasts, and the travel company recorded its first full-year profit. Devon Energy lost 7.6% after the Oklahoma oil-and-gas producer reported declining fourth-quarter earnings.

After the market closes, earnings are due from companies including Cisco Systems, Zillow, and Twilio.

Around three-quarters of companies in the S&P 500 index have reported fourth-quarter earnings. Of those, according to FactSet, 69% have beaten analyst forecasts for earnings per share. Companies typically top expectations, so that hasn’t been sufficient to boost the broad market in recent weeks.

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The dollar strengthened. The WSJ Dollar Index gained 0.8%, with the British pound weakening 1.3% against the U.S. currency after data showed U.K. inflation slowed in January.

Overseas markets were mixed. The Stoxx Europe 600 was close to flat. Big movers included French supermarket chain Carrefour, which rose 7.2% after sales topped expectations. Barclays dropped 7.9% after the British bank gave an outlook that analysts described disappointing.

Asian markets retreated. The Shanghai Composite Index and Japan’s Nikkei 225 both lost 0.4%. as reported at epaper wsj.

In commodities, the most actively traded futures for Brent crude oil fell 0.8% to $84.92 a barrel. The decline came even though the International Energy Agency raised its forecasts for oil demand this year to a record high, saying China’s reopening has fueled a surge in air travel across Asia.