Wall Street closed a miserable September with a 9.3% loss, the worst monthly decline since March 2020. The S&P 500 fell 1.5% on Friday and is at its lowest level in nearly two years.
The benchmark has lost ground for six of the past seven weeks and posted its third consecutive quarter of losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.7% and the Nasdaq fell 1.5%. Bond markets were calmer as yields eased.
Consumers spent slightly more in August
Consumers spent slightly more in August than the previous month, a sign that the economy is holding up even as inflation pushes up the prices of food, rent and other essentials.
Americans increased their spending in stores and on services such as haircuts by 0.4% in August, following a 0.2% decline in July, the Commerce Department said Friday. The government report also showed that a closely watched inflation indicator by the Federal Reserve rose 0.3% last month, faster than in July.
West rejects Putin sabotage claims
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of sabotaging Russian-built gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Putin claimed the West had moved from sanctions on Russia to “terrorist attacks”, sabotaging the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. The White House said Putin’s comments were outlandish and were simply of an attempt to distract the world’s attention from its Friday annexation of four parts of Ukraine.
Scientists, including an MIT professor, honored
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, which recognizes and rewards achievement in medical research, announced its list of recipients for 2022 on Wednesday.
The public service prize was awarded to Lauren Gardner, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, an engineer who studies the spread of disease. She worked with her lab team to develop the COVID-19 tracker as the coronavirus began to spread around the world in January 2020.
The medical research prize was awarded to Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, a molecular biologist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, for creating a prenatal blood test to detect Down syndrome and other genetic diseases.
The basic research prize was shared by three scientists: Richard O. Hynes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Erkki Ruoslahti from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California, and Timothy A. Springer from Harvard Medical School. They have been recognized for their research on key immune proteins called integrins, which help cells attach to other nearby cells and molecules.
Inflation in euro countries hits record high of 10%
Inflation in European countries using the euro rose to double digits as electricity and natural gas prices soared. EU statistics agency Eurostat reported on Friday that consumer prices in the 19 eurozone countries rose a record 10% in September from a year earlier, from 9.1 % in August.
Only a year ago, inflation was only 3.4%. Price increases are at their highest level since record keeping for the euro began in 1997.