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Banks Lead Stocks Lower Early Friday   01/14 10:23

   Stocks edged lower in morning trading on Wall Street Friday, keeping the 
major indexes on course for their second weekly decline in a row.

   (AP) -- Stocks edged lower in morning trading on Wall Street Friday, keeping 
the major indexes on course for their second weekly decline in a row.

   The S&P 500 fell 0.1% as of 10:16 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial 
Average fell 182 points, or 0.5%, to 35,931 and the Nasdaq fell 0.3%.

   Banks were the biggest weight on the market. JPMorgan Chase fell 4.4% after 
reporting that its profits fell 14% in the latest quarter from a year earlier 
as its trading business slumped. Citigroup fell 1.9% after reporting its latest 
results.

   A wide range of retailers and other companies that rely on direct consumer 
spending also fell following a weak retail sales report for December. Home 
Depot fell 1.6% and Whirlpool fell 3.3%.

   Technology stocks gained ground and tempered the market's losses.

   U.S. crude oil prices rose 1% and helped send energy stocks higher. Chevron 
rose 1.6%.

   Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.75% from 1.70% 
late Thursday.

   The Commerce Department reported that retail sales sank 1.9% in December 
after Americans cut their spending in the face of product shortages, rising 
prices and the onset of the omicron variant. It's the latest in a series of 
economic reports this week that has raised concern about inflation and its 
impact on businesses finances and consumer spending.

   The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that consumer inflation jumped at 
the fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month, a 7% spike from a year earlier 
that is increasing household expenses and biting into wage gains. The 
government agency also reported on Thursday that prices at the wholesale level 
surged by a record 9.7% for all of 2021.

   Rising prices have been prompting businesses to pass more costs on to 
consumers. Consumers have been pulling back on spending at department stores, 
restaurants and online as a result of higher prices and supply shortages.

   Businesses are also feeling the impact from inflation. Paint maker 
Sherwin-Williams fell 1.9% after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter 
earnings because of raw materials costs and supply chain problems. Boston Beer, 
which makes Sam Adams beer, slumped 6.8% after cutting its earnings forecast 
because of supply chain problems.

   Concerns over persistently rising inflation are also prompting the Federal 
Reserve to trim its bond purchases and consider raising interest rates earlier 
and more often than Wall Street had expected less than a year ago.

 
 
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