May 29, 2024

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Stocks end a wobbly day with mixed results; yields rise | National News

2 min read

U.S. stock indexes ended a choppy day of trading little changed Friday, though the S&P 500 finished with its first weekly loss in three weeks.

The benchmark index slipped 0.2%, extending its losing streak to a fourth day, after wavering between small gains and losses for most of the day. A majority of the companies in the S&P 500 rose, but losses in health care, communication services and other stocks outweighed gains by banks and industrial companies, among others.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite closed essentially flat, while another strong showing by smaller companies pushed the Russell 200 index to a 2.2% gain.

This week’s market pullback, the first downbeat week this month, comes as investors remain focused on the future of the COVID-stricken economy and the potential for more stimulus to fix it. They’ve also begun taking into account the likelihood of higher inflation as the economy continues to climb out of its pandemic-induced recession.

Expectations of higher inflation helped drive bond yields sharply higher this week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to set interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, rose to 1.34% Friday, though it’s still low by historical standards.

“It’s a gradual release of pent-up demand that we’re beginning to acknowledge is happening through the U.S. economy,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “And it’s occurring against a backdrop of rising interest rates and inflation.”

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