Los Angeles Times

Stocks start month with slide


NEW YORK — Stocks on Wall Street gave up early gains and closed slightly lower Monday as investors began another busy week of company earnings and economic reports.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose during morning trading but ended down 0.3%. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite declined 0.2%. Smaller-company stocks also gave back some of their recent gains, nudging the Russell 2000 down 0.1%.

Bond yields mostly fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, fell to 2.60% from 2.65% late Friday.

August’s subdued opening follows a solid rally for stocks last month: July was the best month for the S&P 500 index since November 2020. But this week’s array of economic reports and company earnings has left traders “a little cautious,” said Lindsey Bell, chief markets and money strategist at Ally Invest.

“Investors are still assessing where we break from here — further to the upside or reverse course,” Bell said.

The benchmark S&P 500 index fell 11.66 points to 4,118.63. It’s coming off a 9.1% gain in July but remains down 13.6% for the year.

The Dow lost 46.73 points to close at 32,798.40, while the Nasdaq slid 21.71 points to 12,368.98. The Russell 2000 ended down 1.92 points at 1,883.31.

Banks, healthcare companies and tech stocks were among the biggest weights on the S&P 500.

U.S. crude oil prices fell 4.8%, dragging energy stocks lower.

Those losses outweighed solid gains by retailers and consumer product makers.

Boeing jumped 6.1% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after it cleared a key hurdle with federal regulators; it could soon resume deliveries of its large 787 airliner.

Stocks have been falling for much of the year as investors worry about high inflation and rising interest rates. A key concern remains whether central banks will raise interest rates too aggressive­ly and push economies into a recession.

The Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate by 0.75 of a percentage point Wednesday, lifting it to the highest level since 2018. The goal is to slow the U.S. economy to help temper the effects of inflation.

The Labor Department will release its June survey on job openings and labor turnover Tuesday and its closely watched monthly employment report for July on Friday.

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