May 17, 2022

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Wall St. has fallen on fears that inflation will force central bank austerity

By Echo Wang

(Reuters) – Wall Street benchmarks extended losses on Friday as investors worried the US Federal Reserve would be more aggressive than expected in raising inflation-fighting rates.

The S&P 500 index ended 0.57% lower at 4,123.34 points. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.30% to 32,899.37. The Nasdaq Composite Technology Index was down 1.4% at 12,144.66 points.

The Nasdaq Technology Index marked its lowest closing level since 2020 and recorded its fifth straight weekly loss, recording its longest decline since the fourth quarter of 2012. The S&P 500 index also corrected its fifth straight weekly loss, a long series of weekly declines. Second quarter of 2011.

The labor sector released stronger-than-expected jobs data, showing a net increase from 421,000 jobs outside the agricultural sector in April to 391,000, which underscores the strong fundamentals of the economy despite a contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6% for the month, while average hourly earnings improved by 0.3% against the forecast of 0.4%.

Nine of the top 11 sectors in the S&P 500 are paralyzed. The energy index rose 2.9% as oil prices rose due to supply concerns.

Most traders expect the Federal Reserve to adjust the interest rate by 0.75 percentage points at its June meeting, although central bank chairman Jerome Powell rejected such a move.


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