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Economy

Stocks Edge Lower on Wall Street after Best Week since 2020

Stocks edged lower in morning trading on Wall Street Monday as major indexes come off their best week since November 2020.

The S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 10:21 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 166 points, or 0.5%, to 34,585 and the Nasdaq fell 1%.

Energy stocks made solid gains as oil prices gained ground. U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 5.8% and Exxon Mobil gained 3.5%.

Technology and communications stocks slipped and countered gains elsewhere in the market. Microsoft fell 1.5% and Facebook parent, Meta Platforms, fell 3.8%.

Bond yields rose sharply. The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped to 2.24% from 2.14% late Friday.

Investors face a fairly quiet week without much economic data that could help give them a better sense of how companies and investors are dealing with rising inflation. Last week’s market rally came on the heels of the Federal Reserve announcing its first interest rate hike since 2018 as it tries to tame rising inflation. The central bank is expected to raise rates several more times this year.

The move had been expected for months as supply chain problems brought on by surging demand pushed prices of everything from food to clothing higher. That has raised concerns that consumers might eventually curtail some spending, which could prompt a more severe economic slowdown than analysts anticipate.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to concerns that inflation could worsen by pushing energy and commodity prices higher. Oil prices are up more than 45% this year and prices for wheat and corn have also surged.

Outside of those broader concerns, several stocks made big moves on company-specific news. Alleghany, a reinsurance company, soared 25% after agreeing to be bought by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Media ratings agency Nielsen sank 7.8% after rejecting an acquisition offer.

Boeing fell 5.8% after one of its planes crashed in China with 132 people on board.

Markets in Europe were mixed. The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.5%, the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.4% and the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.4%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained less than 0.1% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.9%. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

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