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Stocks Close Lower Again Thursday      10/06 16:14

   A choppy day of trading ended with stocks broadly lower on Wall Street 
Thursday, though indexes have managed to hold onto most of their sizeable gains 
from a big rally at the start of the week.

   (AP) -- A choppy day of trading ended with stocks broadly lower on Wall 
Street Thursday, though indexes have managed to hold onto most of their 
sizeable gains from a big rally at the start of the week.

   The S&P 500 fell 1% after having been up 0.4% in the early going. The 
benchmark index is up 4.4% for the week following its best two-day rally since 
the spring of 2020.

   The selling was widespread, with roughly 80% of the stocks in the S&P 500 
ending in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1%, while the Nasdaq 
composite lost 0.7%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks closed 
0.6% lower.

   Treasury yields gained ground and put more pressure on stocks. The yield on 
the 10-year Treasury, which helps set rates for mortgages and many other kinds 
of loans, rose to 3.81% from 3.75% late Wednesday. The yield on the two-year 
Treasury, which more closely tracks expectations for Federal Reserve action, 
rose to 4.22% from 4.14% late Monday.

   Investors were reviewing the latest data on jobs, which showed more 
Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. Traders will be watching 
closely on Friday when the government releases its monthly job market data.

   The labor market remains strong in the face of persistent inflation and a 
slowing overall U.S. economy. That's good for job hunters, but could give the 
Federal Reserve more reason to keep raising interest rates in its bid to crush 
inflation. Wall Street is eager for definitive signs that inflation is on the 
wane and the central bank can finally ease back on its rate hikes.

   "We still have very, very hot inflation, and there's nothing slowing the Fed 
anytime soon," said Paul Kim, CEO of Simplify ETFs. "And the market's just 
waiting for clarity. And that's why you're seeing a little bit of choppiness, 
but no real clear direction."

   The S&P 500 fell 38.76 points to 3,744.52. The Dow dropped 346.93 points to 
close at 29,926.94. The Nasdaq slid 75.33 points at 11,073.31. The Russell 2000 
fell 10.18 points to 1,752.51.

   Technology, financial and health care stocks were among the biggest weights 
on the market. Intel dropped 1.7%, Citigroup fell 1.8% and Johnson & Johnson 
fell 1.9%.

   Energy stocks mostly rose as the price of U.S. crude oil increased 0.8%. 
Marathon Oil gained 3.9%.

   Shares in cannabis companies surged following a late-afternoon announcement 
by the White House that President Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans 
convicted of "simple possession" of marijuana under federal law.

   Biden also directed the secretary of Health and Human Services and the U.S. 
attorney general to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. It is 
currently classified as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD. 
Rescheduling the drug would reduce or potentially eliminate criminal penalties 
for possession.

   Tilray Brands, MedMen Enterprises, Curaleaf and Trulieve Cannabis were among 
the cannabis stocks that jumped at least 30%. These and most other cannabis 
stocks remain deeply in the red for the year, however.

   Wall Street is watching employment data very closely as the Fed remains 
determined to raise interest rates to try and tame the hottest inflation in 
four decades. Investors are concerned that the Fed could go too far with its 
rate increases and push the economy into a recession.

   New U.S. government data showed that more Americans filed for unemployment 
benefits last week, the largest number in four months.

   The job market has been a particularly strong area of an otherwise slowing 
economy. Any sign that it's weakening could factor into the the Fed's future 
decisions to either remain aggressive or ease up. Government employment data 
released on Tuesday indicated that the job market may be cooling. A more 
closely watched monthly employment report, for September, will be released on 
Friday.

   Wall Street analysts expect the government to report that the U.S. economy 
added 250,000 jobs last month, well below the average of 487,000 a month over 
the past year, but still a strong number that suggests the labor market is 
healthy despite chronic inflation and two straight quarters of U.S. economic 
contraction.

   More broadly, the global economy has also been hit hard by record inflation 
and lingering uncertainty over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. That conflict 
continues to hang over energy costs worldwide, but especially for Europe. The 
International Monetary Fund is once again lowering its projections for global 
economic growth in 2023 and said the risks of a recession are rising.

   Investors will soon get more information on just how hard inflation is 
squeezing businesses and consumers when companies start reporting their 
third-quarter financial results this month. More importantly, Wall Street will 
be listening closely to what executives say about expectations for the 
remainder of the year and into 2023.

 
 
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