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Stocks end a wobbly day with mixed results; yields increase | national news

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By ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer

US stock indices ended a choppy trading day on Friday, although the S&P 500 ended with its first weekly loss in three weeks.

The core index slipped 0.2%, extending its losing streak to a fourth day, after hesitating between small gains and losses for most of the day. The majority of companies in the S&P 500 rose, but losses in health care, communications services and other stocks exceeded gains in banks and industrial companies, among others.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite closed mostly flat, while another strong performance from small companies pushed the Russell 200 Index up 2.2%.

The market pullback this week, the pessimistic first week of this month, comes as investors remain focused on the future of the COVID-stricken economy and the potential for further action to address it. They have also started to factor in the likelihood of rising inflation as the economy continues to emerge from its pandemic-triggered recession.

Expectations of higher inflation helped push bond yields up this week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill, used to set interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, rose to 1.34% on Friday, though still low by historical standards .

It’s a gradual release from pent-up demand that was beginning to recognize it’s happening in the US economy, said Bill Northey, senior investment manager at US Bank Wealth Management. And this is happening against a backdrop of rising interest rates and inflation.

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