Dow, S&P 500 end lower after volatile session

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Wall Street stocks finished mostly lower on Monday following a volatile session as markets assess shifting US monetary policy in response to spiking inflation.

After deep declines last week in response to Federal Reserve comments signalling tighter monetary policy, stocks appeared headed for another bruising round ahead of Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, which is expected to focus heavily on inflation. But equities recovered somewhat on Monday after a bruising open.

“We’ve had some pretty consistent selling pressure,” said Art Hogan of National Securities, who described stocks as “oversold” in the short run and said the upcoming earnings season could provide a positive catalyst for stocks.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index, which had fallen almost 400 points at session lows, eked out a 0.1 percent gain at 14,943.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.5 percent to 36,069, while the broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.1 percent to 4,670.

Besides the Powell hearing, this week’s economic calendar includes reports on consumer pricing and retail sales, as well as earnings from JPMorgan Chase and other banks.

Among individual companies, Zynga jumped 40.7 percent after it reached an agreement to be acquired by Take-Two Interactive for US$12.7 billion. Take-Two fell 13.1 percent. (AFP)