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Saturday September 25th, 2021 10:30PM

Major indexes slip on Wall Street, reversing early gains

By The Associated Press
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Stocks gave up an early gain and turned lower in afternoon Tuesday. The market had started higher after the latest data on inflation came in better than economists had expected.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% as of 12:12 pm. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 155 points, or 0.5%, to 34,713 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.

Banks and industrial companies has some of the broadest losses, while technology and health care stocks gained ground.

U.S. consumer prices rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% last month, the smallest increase in seven months and a hopeful sign that inflation pressures may be cooling. Investors initially reacted well to the data and stocks gained ground early on, but the gains quickly faded.

Bond yields eased following the Labor Department's report. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.28% from 1.32% late Monday. It had been rising overnight to about 1.34% shortly before the report was released.

The lower bond yields weighed down banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Bank of America fell 2.1%.

Inflation has been a key concern for investors, who are trying to gauge how it will impact both the economy's recovery and the Federal Reserve's policy on maintaining low interest rates. The central bank has said higher costs for raw materials and consumer goods will likely remain temporary as the economy recovers, but analysts are concerned that the higher prices could stick around and dent companies' bottom lines while also crimping spending.

“There are still inflationary pressures even if they (consumer prices) came in lower than expected," said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. “It doesn’t mean that it's over.”

The most recent report on inflation at the wholesale level was worse than expected, signaling problems for companies contending with higher costs, she said. Those costs could be passed along to consumers, but companies unable to do that could see their upcoming earnings get dented.

The broader concerns about inflation and rising prices have added to choppy trading, along with lingering worries about how the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 will impact an economy that's still finding its footing.

“This environment is likely to continue,” Hooper said. “It may seem uncomfortable because we had such a strong market for so long.”

Still, she expects stocks to continue making gains after Wall Street gets past much of the uncertainty over the Fed and the economic recovery, “but it could be a very bumpy road between now and then.”

Investors will get more information on the economy later this week. The Commerce Department will release retail sales for August on Thursday, giving another glimpse into consumer spending. The University of Michigan will release its consumer sentiment survey on Friday.

Elsewhere in the market, several companies made big moves on a mix of news.

Dietary supplement company Herbalife slumped 16.9% after cutting its profit and revenue forecasts. Wynn Resorts fell 12.5% over concerns that its casinos in Macau could face stricter oversight as China tries to tighten regulations on a broad range of industries.

Cable provider Comcast fell 5.5% after the company warned about a slowdown in new cable customers.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
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