Stock market live news updates: Stock futures flat as Walmart results top expectations

Stock futures were little-changed early Tuesday with all three major indexes in red figures, but off less than 0.1%.

Traders were searching for direction ahead of the week’s second trading day after another rally on Monday saw markets continue recent momentum. On Friday, stocks capped a four-week winning streak, the longest since November.

The retail industry is in focus this week, with earnings out of Walmart (WMT) Tuesday morning kicking off a string of major reports from the sector.

Walmart reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat expectations, with adjusted earnings per share coming in at $1.77 on revenue of $152.9 billion. The company’s U.S. same-store sales rose 6.5% during the quarter.

Shares of Walmart were up as much as 4% in pre-market trading.

These results follow a late-July warning from the company that saw Walmart lower its full-year profit forecast and call out the negative impacting inflation was having on its customers.

In that release, Walmart said it expected full-year adjusted operating income to fall by 11%-13%. On Tuesday, the company raised these expected losses, saying it now sees full-year profits falling 9%-11%.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said Tuesday the company is “working hard to support [customers] as they prioritize their spending” in this inflationary environment. “The actions we’ve taken to improve inventory levels in the U.S., along with a heavier mix of sales of grocery put pressure on profit margin for Q2 and our outlook for the year,” McMillon added.

Cars are seen parked at a Walmart Supercenter. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Elsewhere in markets on Tuesday, Home Depot reported second quarter results that beat expectations across the board.

Home Depot reported same-store sales in the U.S. that rose 5.8% against expectations for a 4.9% increase. The company also reaffirmed its outlook for the third quarter, saying it expects to see comp sales grow 3%.

Shares were down about 0.5% in pre-market trading.

In energy markets, the price of WTI crude oil was up about 0.8% early Tuesday, with Monday marking the 61st straight day of gas price declines. Gas Buddy’s Patrick De Haan noted late Monday that prices were set to rise about a half-cent per gallon nationally into Tuesday, snapping this two-month streak.

On the economic side, data from the housing market out Tuesday morning showed another slowdown in the sector, with housing starts in July falling more than expected. Housing starts fell by 9.2% in July, more than the 2.1% that was forecast by economists.

The number of building permits issued last month fell 1.3% from the prior month.

This post will be updated.

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