Stocks fizzle as Walmart stumbles

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By Matthew Craft

Walmart’s shares slid after the retailer cut its profit forecast for the year, while renewed concerns over the strength of China’s economy weighed on companies that depend on customers there.

But the broader market looked aimless. The major indexes headed lower at the opening of trading, turned higher just before lunchtime, then slowly lost ground throughout the afternoon.

“We’re in the summer doldrums,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management. “Most people are staying cool on the lake somewhere.”

Another reason for the markets’ recent drift, Paulsen said, is that the news hasn’t been all that surprising.

“People know about China’s problems, they know about falling commodity prices,” he said. “They’ve digested a lot of the news that’s out there already.”

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