US stocks waver ahead of expected interest rate hike

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NEWYORK — Wall Street saw small gains and losses Monday as investors prepare for another big Federal Reserve interest rate rise this week.

The S&P 500 had fallen less than 0.1% by 1: 56 at p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 8 points, or less than 0.1%, to 30,813 and the Nasdaq edged down less than 0.1%.

Wall Street is still focused on inflation and the Federal Reserve’s aggressive attempt to lower prices through raising interest rates. The central bank will announce its latest rate decision on Wednesday. It is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate, which has an impact on all interest rates in the economy, by three-quarters percent.

Retailers gained ground, while banks gained ground. Home Depot rose 0.9%, while Bank of America rose 0.9%. Stocks in health care fell, but there were some gains elsewhere on the market. Pfizer fell 1.7%.

The yield on the 2-year Treasury rose to 3. 94% was 3. 87% Friday. The 10-year yield, which influences mortgage rates, rose to 3. 47% from 3.45%. The broader market is coming off its worst week in three years following a surprising hot report on inflation. Big companies, including FedEx warned about worsening economic trends.

Wall Street is concerned that the Fed’s plan for cooling the hottest inflation in forty years could be too aggressive and cause a recession by putting too much pressure on growth. Stocks are also affected by higher rates, particularly in the technology sector.

Investors can get a second update on the housing market on Wednesday, when the National Association of Realtors publishes August figures for sales of previously occupied properties.

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate climbed above 6 percent last week, the highest level since the housing crash of 2008.. Higher rates could make an already tight housing market more expensive for American homebuyers.

Britain observed a day to remember Queen Elizabeth II. Germany’s DAX rose 0.5% while the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.3%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1%, while the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.3%. Japan’s markets were closed on holiday.

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AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed to this report from Bangkok.

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