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Sunday September 25th, 2022 3:31AM

US stocks edge higher at the end of another bruising week

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in morning trading on Wall Street Friday, but are still headed for another week of declines following a massive pullback two days ago.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% as of 10:14 a.m. Eastern, but it is still solidly on track for its seventh straight weekly decline after getting close to entering a bear market this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48 points, or 0.2%, to 31,301 and the Nasdaq rose 0.3%.

All three are headed for drops of 2% or more for the week.

Health care and technology stocks made broad gains. Pfizer rose 3.6% and Apple rose 1%. The tech sector has been particularly choppy and prompted many of the big swings in the market throughout the week.

Bond yields edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.83% from 2.85% late Thursday.

The stock market remains stuck in a slump amid worries about how inflation is squeezing businesses and consumers. Investors are also concerned about the Federal Reserve's plan to aggressively raise interest rates and whether that will help temper inflation's impact or crimp growth too much and send the economy into a recession.

Concerns about inflation have been growing heavier with Russia's invasion of Ukraine pushing energy and some key food commodity prices higher. China, the world's second-largest economy, took a renewed hit from lockdowns in key cities because of COVID-19 cases, but a surprise interest rate cut from the Chinese government has at least temporarily eased some anxiety.

Markets in Asia and Europe made solid gains.

Wall Street has been digesting earnings from retailers this week. The sector is a key focus as investors try to measure how much damage inflation is inflicting on company operations and whether higher prices on everything from food to clothing is prompting consumers to tighten their spending.

Retail giants Target and Walmart both had warnings this week about inflation cutting into finances. Discount retailer Ross Stores plunged 22.2% on Friday after cutting its profit forecast and citing rising inflation as a factor.

Several retailers were rewarded for encouraging results. Ugg footwear maker Deckers Outdoor rose 18.6% and Foot Locker rose 5% after beating analysts' earnings forecasts.

Investors continue watching the Fed for hints of more interest rate hikes to cool inflation that is running at a four-decade high. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said this week the U.S. central bank might take more aggressive action if price pressures fail to ease.

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