Stocks ended mostly lower on Wall Street Wednesday, keeping the market on track for its fourth monthly loss this year. The S&P 500 fell 2.72 points, or 0.1%, to 3,818.83. The benchmark index has been volatile all week, and is down 20% for the year as investors worry about inflation and rising interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82.32 points, or 0.3%, to 31,029.31. The Nasdaq fell 3.65 points, or less than 0.1%, to 11,177.89. Small company stocks fell sharply. Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 23.6% after reporting a far bigger loss than analysts expected and replacing its CEO.
The government reported that the economy shrank at a 1.6% annual pace in the first three months of the year, its third and final estimate for GDP in the first three months of 2022. That figure was in line with previous estimates, and economists expect growth to resume later this year, the AP reports. Consumers were held up as being resilient in the face of rising prices earlier this year, but that sentiment has faded, says Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab.
The latest GDP revision shows that consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of economic output, was substantially weaker than the government had calculated earlier, growing at a 1.8% annual pace instead of the 3.1% it estimated in May. "Not only is recession the base case, but I think it already may have begun," Sonders says. Cruise lines were among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500. Carnival slid 14.1%, Royal Caribbean dropped 10.3%, and Norwegian Cruise Line fell 9.3%. (Read more stock market stories.)