Financial Markets 07/01 09:55
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Friday,
continuing a dismal streak as markets worry about high inflation and the
possibility that higher interest rates could bring on a recession.
The S&P 500 fell 0.4% as of 10:23 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial
Average fell 160 points, or 0.5%, to 30,614 and the Nasdaq fell 0.2%.
The market is mired in a deep slump. The S&P 500 on Thursday closed out its
worst quarter since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 and its performance
in the first half of 2022 was the worst since the first six months of 1970.
The benchmark index has been in a bear market since last month, meaning an
extended decline of 20% or more from its most recent peak. It's now down 21%
from the peak it set at the beginning of this year.
The latest slip precedes a long holiday weekend. Financial markets in the
U.S. will be closed on Monday for Independence Day.
Bond yields fell significantly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which
helps set mortgage rates, fell to 2.84% from 2.97% last Thursday. The yield on
the 2-year Treasury slipped to 2.80% from 2.92%.
Wall Street remains concerned about the risk of a recession as economic
growth slows and the Federal Reserve aggressively hikes interest rates. The Fed
is raising rates to purposefully slow economic growth to help cool inflation,
but could potentially go too far and bring on a recession.
Economic data over the last few weeks has shown that inflation remains hot
and the economy is slowing. The latter has raised hopes on Wall Street that the
Fed will eventually ease off its aggressive push to raise rates, which have
been weighing on stocks, especially pricier sectors like technology. Analysts
don't expect much of a rally for stocks until there are solid signs that
inflation is cooling.
The latest economic update on Friday for the manufacturing sector shows a
continued slowdown in growth in June that was sharper than economists expected.
On Thursday, a report showed that a measure of inflation that is closely
tracked by the Fed rose 6.3% in May from a year earlier, unchanged from its
level in April.
Earlier this week, a worrisome report showed that consumer confidence
slipped to its lowest level in 16 months. The government has also reported that
the U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 1.6% in the first quarter and weak
consumer spending was a key part of that contraction.
Energy and technology stocks were among the big losers on Friday. Hess fell
2.4% and chipmaker Micron shed 5.6% after giving investors a disappointing
Retailers and other companies that rely directly on consumer spending made
solid gains. Amazon rose 1.3% and Starbucks rose 2.7%.