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Stocks fall again, handing Wall Street another losing week

AP – Stocks capped a week of volatile trading on Wall Street with a broad sell-off on Friday that left the major indexes with their second straight weekly loss.

The selling lost some momentum into the afternoon, but the intensified again in the final hour of trading. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each fell 0.7 per cent.

The Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the selling, however, shedding 1.2 per cent.

Treasury yields fell as investors shifted money into the safety of United States (US) bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which affects rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 1.93 per cent from 1.97 per cent.

Markets have been turbulent all week as investors watch the latest developments in Ukraine, where Russia has been amassing troops on the border.

Employees working on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. PHOTO: AP

The tensions are yet another concern for investors as they try to determine how the economy will react to rising inflation and looming interest rate hikes.

“Investors are facing geopolitical risks, Fed tightening and peak valuations,” said Head of Portfolio Management for Commonwealth Financial Network Peter Essele.

“Anytime you get that kind of trifecta scenario, you’re going to see volatility.”

And then there’s the uncertainty of what could happen in Ukraine during this holiday weekend.

“You’re heading into a long weekend with no resolution on Russia or Ukraine, so you have some people just going to the sidelines a little bit,” said national investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management Tom Hainlin.

The S&P 500 fell 31.39 points to 4,348.87. The benchmark index is now 9.3 per cent below its all-time high set on January 3. The Dow fell 232.85 points to 34,079.18 and the Nasdaq gave up 168.65 points to 13,548.07.

Small company stocks also fell, pulling the Russell 2000 index down 18.76 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 2,009.33.