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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks were near flat at the end of a choppy session yestersday as the market struggled to recover from the prior session’s rout.

Worries about inflation, weakening consumer sentiment and tightening monetary policy have weighed on stocks throughout 2022, including Tuesday, when the S&P 500 tumbled 2%.

The upcoming quarterly earnings season offers an opportunity for an investment catalyst to cheer investors, but could point stocks lower if it disappoints, said Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investment.

“The market is looking for some good news and not able to find anything that stands out,” Sarhan said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.3% at 31,029.31.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to 3,818.83, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged down by less than 0.1% to 11,177.89.

Earlier, Asian and European stock markets nursed losses on resurgent fears that sharp interest rate increases aimed at tackling runaway inflation could spark recession.

In Asia, Hong Kong led losses as tech firms took a beating, while Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Mumbai, Manila, Taipei, Jakarta, Bangkok and Wellington were also well down.

Bourses in Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong all lost around 1% or more, taking their cues from Tuesday’s rout on Wall Street following a gloomy US consumer confidence report.

European sentiment also was rocked by data showing Spanish inflation rocketed to a 37-year peak of 10.2% in June on rising energy and food prices.

The news sent the Madrid stock market down 1.6%, with Frankfurt falling 1.7%. Paris gave up 0.9% and London shed 0.2%.

“So much for the big stock market comeback. Another day, another sea of red on the market,“ said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould. – AFP

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