Dow, S&P 500 struggle for altitude early Tuesday, even as Walmart shares climb

U.S. stock benchmarks traded flat to lower Tuesday morning, even amid better-than-expected quarterly results from retailers, including Home Depot Inc. [: HD] and Walmart Inc. , with declines in communication services and energy offsetting gains in technology shares. Worries about surging inflation have been weighing on investor sentiment as the economy enters the recovery phase of the COVID pandemic and market participants fret about high valuations of stocks and the threat of the Federal Reserve removing accommodative policies faster than projections imply. The Dow Jones Industrial Average [: DJIA] was declining 0.1% at 34,308, the S&P 500 index retreated less than 0.1% at 4,161, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2% to 13,397. Shares of Dow component Walmart were up nearly 4% after delivering earnings and revenue that topped forecasts and raised its full-year guidance. Home Depot shares, however, were flat to slightly lower.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.