A rally on Friday in the wake of a solid report on monthly retail sales wasn’t enough to offset the stock market’s rough start to the week. The major U.S. indexes recorded small declines, falling for the 12th week out of the past 15.
U.S. retail sales rose 1.0% in June, slightly above expectations despite surging inflation and recently weak consumer sentiment readings. However, the sales gain that the government reported on Friday wasn’t adjusted for inflation, which rose 1.3% in June, indicating that real sales were slightly negative.
A handful of major U.S. banks kicked off earnings season with mixed results. Entering earnings season, analysts were forecasting that second-quarter earnings for banks in the S&P 500 fell 26% from a year ago, in part due to higher costs from provisions for loan losses, according to FactSet.
With the U.S. annual inflation rate now at 9.1%, policymakers face pressure to approve another big interest-rate increase at Wednesday’s U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting. At its mid-June meeting, the Fed lifted its short-term target range by three-quarters of a percentage point- the biggest hike since 1994 and a similar steep increase is expected heading into this week’s gathering, with some economists expecting rates will go up a full percentage point.
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