Stocks fall on Wall Street, oil falls amid economic uncertainty

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NEW YORK — Stocks fell in Monday morning Wall Street trading as investors continue to focus on the economy and prepare for some updates from retailers this week.

The S&P 500 is down 0.3% as of 10:15 am ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40 points (0.1%) to 33,720, while the Nasdaq fell 0.2%.

US oil prices fell 4.9% on concerns about the global economy, weighing on energy stocks. ExxonMobil fell 3.8%.

China’s central bank cut key interest rates after acknowledging that more needs to be done to strengthen the world’s second-largest economy. This is the latest warning to markets already alarmed by record-high inflation and fears of a recession in the US and elsewhere.

US Treasury yields fell as New York manufacturing data unexpectedly contracted significantly. Yields on 10-year Treasuries, which banks use to set mortgage rates, fell to 2.77% from 2.83% late Friday.

Financial stocks also fell sharply. Bank of America fell 1.2%.

Moderna rose 4% after UK regulators approved an updated version of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Broader markets rose for a fourth consecutive week on hopes that inflation has peaked and the Federal Reserve may ease its aggressive rate hikes. Central banks have hiked short-term interest rates to slow economic growth and curb inflation, the highest in 40 years.

Wall Street fears the Fed could hit the brakes too hard and send the economy into recession, and signs that inflation could peak or recede help ease some of those fears. I’m here.

Investors are also watching closely how inflation affects businesses and consumers. Spending has slowed and the economy as a whole has already contracted for the second quarter in a row. Several major retailers will report earnings this week, giving investors more details on how some companies are holding up.

Home Depot and Walmart will report their latest results on Tuesday, while Target will report results on Wednesday.

Wall Street will take a broader look at the health of the retail sector and consumer spending when the Department of Commerce releases its retail sales report for July on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by FactSet said he expects sales to grow by just 0.2% from June, when he increased by 1%. This increase mainly reflected higher gas prices, among others. Some economists, however, have suggested that it came mainly from high-income households, but also indicated that Americans continue to spend, providing important support to the economy.

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