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Stocks Tracking 4th Monthly Loss       06/29 16:16

   Stock indexes on Wall Street ended mostly lower Wednesday after another 
choppy day of trading as the market heads toward its fourth monthly loss this 
year.

   (AP) -- Stock indexes on Wall Street ended mostly lower Wednesday after 
another choppy day of trading as the market heads toward its fourth monthly 
loss this year.

   The S&P 500 ended 0.1% lower after shifting between small gains and losses. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a 0.3% gain, while the Nasdaq 
composite slipped less than 0.1%.

   Trading has been volatile all week amid growing signs the economy could be 
in for a recession under the pressure of stubbornly high inflation and sharply 
higher interest rates.

   Investors snapped up U.S. government bonds, sending yields lower. The yield 
on the 10-year Treasury, which influences rates on mortgages and other consumer 
loans, fell to 3.10% from 3.20% late Tuesday, a big move.

   "Lower yields because we've got more economic risk is not a good thing for 
the market," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at All Star Charts. 
"It's on the bulls to prove that they can sustain some strength beyond a few 
days or a one-week rally."

   The S&P 500 slipped 2.72 points to 3,818.83. With one day left to go in 
June, the benchmark index is down 7.6% for the month and down 20% for the year.

   The Dow rose 82.32 points to 31,029.31, while the Nasdaq dropped 3.65 points 
to 11,177.89.

   Small company stocks fell sharply in a signal that investors were worried 
about economic growth. The Russell 2000 slid 19.47 points, or 1.1%, to 1,719.37.

   The government reported that the economy shrank at a 1.6% annual pace in the 
first three months of the year, its third and final estimate for GDP in the 
first three months of 2022. That figure was in line with previous estimates, 
and economists expect growth to resume later this year.

   Investors have been closely watching economic data as they try to determine 
how deeply inflation is hurting consumers and businesses, while also keeping an 
eye on the Federal Reserve's aggressive shift to raise interest rates.

   The central bank is raising rates in an attempt to slow economic growth 
enough to temper inflation, but Wall Street is wary that the Fed could go too 
far and push the economy into a recession. Those concerns have been heightened 
by a series of reports showing a slowdown in retail sales and other indicators.

   Consumers were held up as being resilient in the face of rising prices 
earlier this year, but that sentiment has faded, said Liz Ann Sonders, chief 
investment strategist at Charles Schwab. The latest GDP revision shows that 
consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of economic output, was 
substantially weaker than the government had calculated earlier, growing at a 
1.8% annual pace instead of the 3.1% it estimated in May.

   "Not only is recession the base case, but I think it already may have 
begun," Sonders said.

   Fed Chair Jerome Powell, speaking Wednesday at a European Central Bank forum 
in Sintra, Portugal, repeated his hope that the Fed can achieve a so-called 
soft landing: raising interest rates just enough to slow the economy and rein 
in surging consumer prices without causing a recession and sharply raising the 
unemployment rate.

   But, he said the path to achieving that goal has become more difficult and 
there's "no guarantee" the central bank can tame runaway inflation without 
hurting the job market.

   Lingering supply problems and a sharp jump in demand as the pandemic faded 
sparked a rise in inflation. It has grown worse through the year as supply 
chain problems worsened following new lockdowns in China to help control 
COVID-19 cases. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February sent energy prices 
higher and resulted in record high gasoline prices that have been eating away 
at consumers' wallets.

   Consumers have shifted spending from discretionary items like electronics to 
necessities as inflation grows hotter. A weaker-than-expected consumer 
confidence reading on Tuesday revealed that persistently high inflation was 
making Americans more pessimistic about both the present and future.

   Impacts from the shift in spending is a key focus for investors as companies 
start to report their latest financial results. Cheerios maker General Mills 
climbed 6.3% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting solid 
financial results and giving investors an encouraging forecast.

   Gains in health care and technology companies helped lift the market. Eli 
Lilly rose 1.7% and Microsoft added 1.5%.

   Energy stocks fell as the price of U.S. crude oil dropped 1.8%. Exxon Mobil 
slid 3.7%.

   Industrial firms and retailers also kept the market's gains in check. FedEx 
fell 2.6% and Target slipped 1.8%.

   Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 23.6% after reporting a far bigger loss than 
analysts expected and replacing its CEO.

   Cruise lines were among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500. Carnival slid 
14.1%, Royal Caribbean dropped 10.3% and Norwegian Cruise Line fell 9.3%.

 
 
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