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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks on Wall Street fluctuated Tuesday ahead of several key inflation reports this week and the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate decision.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in afternoon trading after falling as much as 0.6% earlier in the day. About 65% of the stocks in the benchmark index lost ground. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 131 points, or 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6% as of 3:11 p.m. Eastern time. The choppy trading follows another record-breaking day for both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

There was little corporate or economic news for investors. General Motors rose 1.7% after the automaker announced that its board had approved a $6 billion share buyback.

Calavo Growers rose 8.2% after the avocado grower’s latest quarterly report beat analysts’ forecasts.

Stocks begin the day with bouts of weakness. More from AP Business Correspondent Seth Sutel.

Banks were among the biggest weights in the market. Fifth Third Bancorp lost 0.5 percent after the company lowered its revenue growth forecast. JPMorgan lost 2.5 percent and Citigroup lost 3.3 percent.

Apple rose 6.4%, helping to offset losses elsewhere in the technology sector. The company is gaining ground after highlighting its push into artificial intelligence technology. Affirm Holdings climbed 8.1% on news that the buy now, pay later company will integrate with Apple Pay.

In the bond market, yields on US Treasuries fell. The yield on 10-year US Treasuries fell to 4.40% from 4.47% late Monday.

The key events for the market this week will take place on Wednesday, when the US releases its latest update on consumer inflation and the The US Federal Reserve will release its latest update on interest rates. The US will also release its latest update on wholesale prices on Thursday.

Wall Street expects the government’s consumer price index to remain unchanged at 3.4% in May. Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, has fallen sharply from its 2022 peak of 9.1%, but appears to have stalled at around 3%, making it difficult for the Fed to bring inflation back to its 2% target rate.

The Fed has kept its benchmark interest rate at its highest level in more than two decades, and Wall Street is currently hoping for a cut or two to that rate this year. Virtually no one expects the Fed to raise its benchmark interest rate at its current meeting, which began on Tuesday. Policymakers will release their latest forecasts on Wednesday about where they think interest rates and the economy are headed.

When Fed officials released their last forecasts in March, they indicated that the average member expected about three rate cuts in 2024. That forecast will almost certainly not be met this time.

“The Fed has the mentality of a dentist, believing that pain now saves suffering later,” said Bryce Doty, senior portfolio manager at Sit Investment Associates. “They don’t realize how high interest rates drive up costs for businesses, which are then passed on to the consumer.”

Economic data has been mixed recently, and traders are hoping for a slowdown that does not turn into a recession and is just the right size. A slowdown would reduce upward pressure on inflation, which could prompt the Fed to cut interest rates. Lower rates could boost overall stock market growth. However, major indices have hit record highs despite concerns about sluggish inflation and high interest rates.

The economy has remained stable thanks to a strong labor market and high consumer spending. Consumers, especially those on lower incomes, are coming under increasing pressure, and retailers are warning investors about the potential impact on profits and sales. The U.S. labor market is showing some signs of slowing, which could moderate inflation but put more pressure on consumers.

Stock prices fell in Europe and were mixed in Asia.


AP writers Zimo Zhong, Matt Ott and Alex Veiga contributed to this report.

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