The benchmark index was down 2% for the day in early afternoon trading and on pace for its seventh straight losing week.

Rising interest rateshigh inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a slowdown in China’s economy are all punishing stocks and raising fears about a possible U.S. recession, AP reports.

If the S&P 500 finishes the day 20% or more below its record, it would enter what Wall Street calls a “bear market.” The last one was in early 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, an unusually brief downturn that sliced 34% off the S&P 500.

The stock market remains stuck in a slump amid worries about how inflation is squeezing businesses and consumers. Investors are also concerned about the Federal Reserve’s plan to aggressively raise interest rates and whether that will help temper inflation’s impact or potentially knock the economy into a downturn.

“Certainly the market volatility has all been driven by investor concerns that Fed will tighten policy too much and put the us into a recession,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

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