Stocks slip on Wall Street as messy May comes to a close

FILE - The Wall St. street sign is framed by the American flags flying outside the New York Stock exchange, on Jan. 14, 2022, in the Financial District. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, and crude oil prices rose sharply after European leaders agreed to cut nearly all imports of oil from Russia over the next six months. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

U.S. stocks are slipping in midday trading on Tuesday, as Wall Street nears the end of a tumultuous month, bruised by worries about a possible recession, inflation and rising interest rates.

The S&P 500 was 0.4% lower, after briefly erasing all of an earlier drop of 1.3% during the morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 152 points, or 0.5%, at 33,060, as of 12:25 p.m. Eastern time, while the Nasdaq composite was 0.2% lower. Both came back from earlier losses of at least 1.4%

Such swings should perhaps be no surprise given Wall Street’s action this month, amid some of the wildest trading since the early days of the pandemic. The S&P 500 is on track for a 0.3% gain for May, which would bring it 13.6% below its record set early this year. But the slight move for the month belies sharp lurches down and up that shook investors along the way.

Through mid-May, the S&P 500 tumbled to seven straight losing weeks for its longest such streak since the dot-com bubble was deflating two decades ago. Slowing data on the U.S. economy heightened worries that high inflation will force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates so aggressively that it will cause a recession.

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