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Friday, October 22, 2021

Stocks Slip as Investors Await Inflation Data



(Newser)

Stocks ended an up-and-down day mostly lower on Wall Street as traders wait for more data on inflation and corporate earnings this week. The S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq fell. Small-company stocks ended higher. A mix of retailers and other companies that rely on direct consumer spending gained ground, but those gains were offset by falling technology and communications stocks. The S&P 500 fell 10.54 points, or 0.2%, to 4,350.65. The Dow Jones fell 117.72 points, or 0.3%, to 34,378.34. The Nasdaq fell 20.28 points, or 0.1%, to 14,465.92. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 13.63 points, or 0.6%, to 2,234.27. US crude oil prices held steady at just above $80 a barrel.

Ford rose 3.4% and Lowe’s rose 0.8%. Facebook fell 0.5%, AT&T slid 2.3% and Google’s parent company Alphabet was down 1.7%. This week, investors will be closely watching the latest round of earnings reports, along updates on inflation from the Labor Department. It will release its Consumer Price Index for September on Wednesday, which is a gauge of how inflation is pressuring costs for consumers, the AP reports. Additional information on inflation pressures for businesses will be released on Thursday when the Labor Department releases its Producer Price Index.

A wide range of industries are feeling the pinch from rising inflation with higher costs for shipping and raw materials. Many companies have warned that their financial results could suffer because of the supply chain problems. The supply chain crunch has also raised prices on many goods for consumers, which could hurt consumer spending and further stunt the economic recovery. Investors will get an update on consumer spending when the Commerce Department releases its retail sales report for September on Friday.

(Read more stock market stories.)

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