Stocks Drift Mostly Lower On Wall Street, Extending Losses

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Market data at the New York Stock Exchange.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.3% in afternoon trading on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq fell 0.4%.

Stocks drifted mostly lower on Wall Street, extending the market's losses into a holiday-shortened week.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% as of 12:28 p.m. Eastern. It has bounced between a gain of 0.5% and a loss of 1% throughout the day and is coming off its third losing week in a row. Markets in the U.S. were closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 99 points, or 0.3%, to 31,218 and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%.

Health care stocks were among the biggest gainers. Eli Lilly rose 2.4%. Communication stocks fell broadly and tempered gains elsewhere in the market. Netflix slipped 3.5%.

Bed Bath & Beyond fell 16.6% following the death of its chief financial officer. The company has been suffering from a prolonged sales slump and executive turnover.

The company that wants to take Trump Media public, Digital World Acquisition, plunged 14.7% following reports it didn’t receive enough shareholder support for an extension to close the deal.

ADT jumped 13.5% after State Farm said it was taking a 15% stake in the home security company.

Markets have been slipping in recent weeks and shedding much of the gains made in July and early August as inflation remains hot and the Federal Reserve stays on track to continue raising interest rates to try and tame stubbornly persistent high prices. The big concern is that the Fed might go too far in raising rates and slam the brakes too hard on an already slowing economy, potentially causing a recession.

Wall Street has been closely watching economic data for clues that inflation might be easing, which traders hope will give the Fed a reason to ease up on rate hikes. The Fed has already raised interest rates four times this year and is expected to raise short-term rates by another 0.75 percentage points at its next meeting later this month, according to CME Group.

In recent weeks, the market has wiped out much of the gains it made in July and early August as traders worried that the Fed would not let up anytime soon on raising interest rates to bring down the highest inflation in decades. The Fed has made clear that it intends to keep raising interest rates until it is sure that inflation is easing.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other loans, rose to 3.34% from 3.19% late Thursday. The two-year Treasury yield, which tends to track expectations for Fed action, rose to 3.51% from 3.39%.

Markets in Asia were mostly higher. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4% after China promised Monday to accelerate easier lending and other policies to shore up economic growth that sank to 2.5% over a year earlier in the first half of 2022, less than half the official annual target.

European markets were mostly lower.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.