Asian stocks mixed as markets eye U.S. interest rates and prices

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended another wobbly day, mostly down on Wall Street on Monday, extending a losing streak for markets. The S&P 500 couldn’t hold a gain in the afternoon and ended down 0.4%. The benchmark is coming off a six-week losing streak. Tech companies were among the biggest losers, sending the Nasdaq down 1.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average barely finished in the green. Spirit Airlines surged after JetBlue said it would make a hostile bid for the budget carrier. ManTech surged after investment firm Carlyle Group announced it would buy the defense contractor. Bond yields fell.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher on Wall Street on Monday, but trading remains choppy as the market experiences six straight weeks of declines.

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% at 2:49 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 222 points, or 0.7%, to 32,419 and the Nasdaq fell 0.3%.

Energy stocks and health care companies gained ground. Chevron rose 4.1% and Eli Lilly 3.1%.

Retailers recorded some of the largest losses and tempered gains elsewhere. Amazon fell 1% and Starbucks 3.1%.

Tech stocks pushed and pulled the broader market for most of the day and were mixed late in the afternoon. Big tech companies, with their expensive stocks, tend to push the broader market up or down. The sector has been a particularly heavy hitter as investors fret about high inflation and rising interest rates.

Bond yields fell. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.88% from 2.94% on Friday evening.

Spirit Airlines rose 13.3% after JetBlue announced it would make a hostile bid for the budget carrier after Spirit spurned previous offers.

Defense contractor ManTech jumped 15.2% after investment firm Carlyle Group announced it would buy the defense contractor.

The broader market is in the midst of a slump as investors try to gauge how businesses and consumers are handling rising prices and whether central banks can help alleviate the problem.

“Time is the most important factor here,” said Mark Hackett, head of investment research at Nationwide. “Right now, sentiment and emotion are winning, but eventually the reality of a fundamentally good backdrop will take over.”

Corporate profits have been generally strong, he said, and consumer spending is holding up in the face of inflationary pressures. But the market is likely to remain volatile and could take more losses until some of the inflation concerns subside.

The Federal Reserve is in the process of pulling its benchmark short-term interest rate from its all-time high near zero, where it has spent most of the pandemic. He also said he may continue to raise rates to double the usual amount at future meetings. Investors fear the central bank could cause a recession if it raises rates too high or too quickly.

Ongoing supply chain issues continue to fuel inflation, and China’s recent COVID-19 lockdowns have raised fears they could worsen. Russia’s war against Ukraine has made already high energy prices even more volatile, which could also lead to higher inflation.

US crude oil prices rose 2.9% on Monday and are up more than 50% for the year. Natural gas prices rose 3.9% and more than doubled in 2022.

Wall Street is closely watching how consumers are reacting to inflation pressure and will receive several updates from the US government and major retailers this week. The Commerce Department will release its April retail sales report on Tuesday.

Home Depot and Walmart will release their latest financial results on Tuesday, and Target will release its results on Wednesday.

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