By DAMIAN J. TROISE
Stocks fell broadly in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday as the market heads for a feeble ending to an up-and-down week of trading.
Trading has been choppy throughout the week. Investors have received a mixed bag of economic data reflecting how the economy is weathering a spike in COVID-19 cases and how it might continue its recovery in the coming months.
Wall Street is also keeping a close watch on the Federal Reserve. Investors are looking for more information on how it plans to eventually ease support for low interest rates. The central bank meets next week.
The S&P 500 fell 0.8% as of 1:10 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 147 points, or 0.4%, to 34,599 and the Nasdaq fell 0.9%.
Roughly three out of every four stocks within the benchmark S&P 500 fell and nearly every sector was broadly lower. The index has been moving back and forth from daily gains to daily losses since Monday and is now on track for a second straight week of losses.
Technology companies were the biggest drag on the market. A mix of communications and industrial companies also fell broadly. Apple fell 1.5% and Facebook fell 1.9%.
Health care stocks eked out gains. Lab equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific was a standout with a 7.2% jump after giving investors an encouraging business update. Some travel-related stocks made solid gains. Carnival rose 2.1%.
Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.37% from 1.33% late Thursday.
Oil prices fell 1% and natural gas prices fell 2.5%. The weak energy prices weighed down the energy sector. Oilfield services company Schlumberger fell 2.5%.
Much of this week’s economic data pointed to an economy struggling to move forward in the last few months. Inflation remains a concern for businesses, which are dealing with supply chain problems and facing higher costs. Concerns about the highly contagious delta variant also have analysts’ concerned that consumer spending, a key piece of economic growth, could stall.
Source: Orange County Register