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