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Stock market today: Wall Street drifts in quiet trading after returning from a 3-day weekend

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TOKYO – Wall Street is listless on Tuesday, coming back from a three-day weekend, and is drifting near its record heights.

The S&P 500 was 0.1% higher in midday trading and sitting just below its record set a week ago. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 142 points, or 0.4%, as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 0.5% higher after setting its latest all-time high.

U.S. Cellular climbed 3.5% after T-Mobile said it will buy nearly all of the company. The deal is valued at $4.4 billion and includes up to $2 billion in assumed debt. Shares of T-Mobile US added 0.7%.

GameStop jumped 23.9% after it said it raised $933.4 million in cash through a previously announced sale of stock. The company, whose stock price has often moved more on investors’ enthusiasm than any change to its profit prospects, said it could use the cash for acquisitions, investments or other general corporate purposes.

Nvidia added another 5.3% to bring its gain for the year so far to a whopping 126.4%. It’s still riding a wave created by its latest blowout profit report from last week, which calmed some of the worries that Wall Street’s frenzy around artificial-intelligence technology has inflated prices beyond reasonable levels.

They were offsetting drops for health care stocks, which had some of Wall Street’s sharpest losses. Moderna fell 8.2%, Merck dropped 2.6% and Vertex Pharmaceuticals slipped 1.3%.

Much of the rest of Wall Street was relatively quiet, including the bond market.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up to 4.50% from 4.47% late Friday. It flipped an earlier, modest loss after a report showed confidence among U.S. consumers is strengthening, when economists were expecting to see a drop.

Strong spending by U.S. consumers has been one of the main reasons the economy has managed to defy predictions of a recession, at least so far, but some cracks have begun to show. Lower-income households in particular have been beginning to buckle under the pressure of still-high inflation.

Analysts at Bank of America cut their price target for McDonald’s on Tuesday, for example, citing its struggles after hiking its prices more than Wendy’s and other competitors, among other challenges. McDonald’s fell 1.1%.

Treasury yields had been easing through most of this month on hopes that a resumption in the cooldown for inflation will allow the Federal Reserve to cut its main interest rates at least once later this year.

The Fed has been holding the federal funds rate at the highest level in more than two decades in hopes of grinding down on the economy and investment prices enough to get high inflation fully under control. The danger is that if it leaves rates too high for too long, it could kneecap the job market and overall economy. Making it more difficult for the Fed, if it cuts rates too early, it could allow inflation to get even worse.

This upcoming week has several reports that could sway the Fed’s thinking, beyond Tuesday’s on confidence among consumers.

The week’s highlight likely arrives on Friday when the government releases its latest monthly report on spending by households and the incomes that they earned. It will also include the measure of inflation for April that the Federal Reserve prefers to use.

In stock markets abroad, indexes fell modestly across much of Europe and Asia. London’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.8%, and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged down by 0.1%.

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AP Business Writers Matt Ott and Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.

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