U.S. stocks show mixed gains as inflation and energy prices weigh on growth

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Major indexes recovered from a Tuesday-morning slump, ending the day with slight gains, as record inflation, supply-chain constraints and soaring energy prices weigh on economic growth.

The Nasdaq had the strongest rally, rising 194.39 points, or 1.7%, to 11,322.24. The S&P 500 rose 6.06 points, or 0.2%, to 3,831.39, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.44 points, or 0.4%, closing at 30,967.82.

The war in Ukraine and its impact on energy supplies are casting a shadow over the economic outlook at a time when the central bank is raising interest rates to slow inflation. The Federal Reserve boosted rates by 0.75% in June — its biggest hike since 1994 — amid the nation’s fiercest bout with inflation in 40 years, leading some economists to predict the rate hikes could tip the U.S. into recession.


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Supply chain tensions with China

Benchmarks in Asia were mostly higher on hopes for an easing of trade tensions between Beijing and Washington. COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year in major Chinese cities have impacted not just the country’s post-pandemic recovery, but has put a strain on global supplies.

China’s Commerce Ministry said Tuesday that Vice Premier Liu He spoke with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about coordinating economic policy between the two biggest economies and maintaining the stability of supply chains.

In a statement, it also said the Chinese side “expressed its concern over issues such as the removal of additional tariffs and sanctions imposed by the United States on China and fair treatment of Chinese companies.” The two sides agreed to continue their discussions, it said.

Meanwhile, a resurgence in COVID-19 infections is also looming, bringing the threat of a reversion to pandemic precautions.

At least some U.S. adults may get updated COVID-19 shots this fall, as government advisers voted in June that it’s time to tweak booster doses to better match the most recent virus variants.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude shed 49 cents to $107.94 a barrel. It gained $2.67 on Friday to $108.43 a barrel. Trading was closed Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $1.84 to $111.66 a barrel.

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