Thursday, May 30, 2024

US stocks lose ground as markets ponder the Fed’s next moves

by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Tuesday as markets ponder the Federal Reserve’s next moves on fighting inflation.

The S&P 500 fell 0.9% as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 139 points, or 0.4%, to 33,801 and the Nasdaq fell 1.4%.

Technology stocks and retailers had some of the biggest losses. Apple fell 1.5% and AutoZone fell 5%,

Bond yields mostly held steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell slightly to 3.57% from 3.58% late Monday.

European markets were mostly lower and Asian markets closed mixed.

Several companies made big moves following financial updates and buyout announcements.

Utility NRG Energy slumped 11.4% after announcing it is spending $2.8 billion in cash and assuming $2.4 billion in debt to buy Vivint Smart Home.

Jewelry company Signet rose 18.6% after raising its profit and revenue forecasts for the year.

The broader market’s dip comes a day after stocks pulled back as stronger-than-expected readings on the economy raised worries that the Fed has a ways to go in getting inflation under control. The Fed is doing that by intentionally slowing the economy with higher interest rates.

Investors are closely watching economic data and company announcements to get a better sense of how the economy is handling stubbornly hot inflation. They are also trying to determine whether inflation is easing at a pace that will allow the Fed to ease up on interest rate increases. The Fed’s policy risks hitting the brakes on the economy too hard and sending it into a recession.

Wall Street will get a weekly update on unemployment claims on Thursday. The job market has been one of the stronger pockets in the economy.

Investors will get important updates on inflation and how consumers are dealing with high prices later in the week.

On Friday, the government will release its November report on producer prices. That will give investors more insight into how inflation is impacting businesses.

The University of Michigan will release its December survey on consumer sentiment on Friday.

With growing concern about a recession, Fitch Ratings revised its forecasts for world economic growth downward to reflect the Fed’s and other central banks’ interest rate hikes.

The ratings agency’s Global Economic Outlook report estimated global growth at 1.4% in 2023, revised down from 1.7% in its September forecast. It put U.S. growth in 2023 at 0.2%, down from 0.5%, as the pace of monetary policy tightening increases.

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