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Market Remains in a 'Pause'

Dow is up, while S&P remains shy of record
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 14, 2020 3:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – Wall Street ended the week with a blah day, and listless trading left the S&P 500 just shy of its record once again. The S&P fell about half a point to 3,372, the Dow rose 34 points to 27,931, and the Nasdaq fell 23 points to 11,019. The market appears to be taking a pause after nearly erasing the last of the steep losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In each of the last two days, the S&P made a brief run above its record closing high of 3,386, which was set in February, only to fade in the afternoon, per the AP. Consumer spending is the main locomotive for the US economy, and a report on Friday showed some more improvements for US retailers, though less than economists expected.

Sales at grocery stores, gas stations, and other retailers rose 1.2% last month from June. It’s the third straight month of gains, following a historic plunge in the spring, but it marked a sharp slowdown from June's 8.4% growth. It also fell short of the 2% growth that economists were expecting. The report showed that the economy is now “more in a gentle phase of recovery," said Mike Zigmont, director of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management. “It’s positive, but it’s not as ballistic as it was before,” he said.

(Read more stock market stories.)

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