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US Stocks Close Higher on Choppy Trade 08/18 15:42

   Another day of choppy trading on Wall Street ended with modest gains for 
stocks Thursday and the benchmark S&P 500 barely back into the green for the 
week.

   (AP) -- Another day of choppy trading on Wall Street ended with modest gains 
for stocks Thursday and the benchmark S&P 500 barely back into the green for 
the week.

   The S&P 500 rose 0.2% after shifting between small gains and losses for much 
of the day. It's now up 0.1% for the week.

   The Dow Jones Industrial Average managed a 0.1% gain, while the Nasdaq rose 
0.2% as technology companies gained ground.

   Smaller company stocks outpaced the broader market, sending the Russell 2000 
index 0.7% higher.

   The choppy trading for stocks follows a four-week winning streak for the S&P 
500. Investors remain concerned about stubbornly hot inflation and its impact 
on consumers and businesses. Financial results from big retailers and economic 
updates throughout the week have shown that the economy remains under pressure 
from inflation but has several pockets of resiliency.

   "The market is looking for direction and it seems people are caught between 
the idea of slowing economic growth and slowing inflation," said Chris 
Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance.

   The S&P 500 rose 9.70 points to 4,283.74, while the Dow added 18.72 points 
to 33,999.04. The Nasdaq gained 27.22 points to 12,965.34, and the Russell 2000 
added 13.41 points to 2,000.73.

   Technology companies had some of the strongest gains. Cisco Systems rose 
5.8% after reporting solid financial results.

   Energy stocks also climbed as U.S. crude oil prices rose 2.7%. Devon Energy 
rose 5.9%.

   Department store Kohl's fell 7.7% after issuing a disappointing financial 
forecast.

   Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which affects mortgage 
rates, slipped to 2.87% from 2.90% late Wednesday.

   Bed Bath & Beyond fell 19.6% after investor Ryan Cohen proposed selling his 
entire stake in the struggling retailer.

   Slightly fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, 
according to the Labor Department, as the labor market continues to stand out 
as one of the strongest segments of the U.S. economy. The solid update on the 
employment market follows an encouraging report on Wednesday that showed retail 
sales remain solid despite the hottest inflation in four decades.

   Investors have been closely watching the Federal Reserve for any reaction to 
shifts in inflation or the economy. The central bank has been raising interest 
rates in an effort to slow the economy and cool inflation, but Wall Street is 
concerned it could slam the brakes too hard and veer into a recession instead.

   Any sign that inflation is peaking or cooling has given Wall Street hope 
that the Fed could consider easing up on rate hikes. It raised its benchmark 
interest rate by three-quarters of a point for a second-straight time during 
its meeting in July and is expected to raise the rate by a half-percentage 
point at its upcoming meeting.

   The minutes from last month's meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers showed 
that policymakers expected the economy to expand in the second half of 2022, 
though many suggested that growth would weaken as higher rates take hold. The 
Fed intends to continue raising rates enough to slow the economy.

   Wall Street continues monitoring potential trade issues between the U.S. and 
China after the U.S. government said it will hold trade talks with Taiwan in a 
sign of support for the island democracy that China claims as its own 
territory, prompting Beijing to warn that it will take action if necessary to 
"safeguard its sovereignty."

 
 
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