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Wall Street set for worst quarter since pandemic crash of 2020 -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO Traders working at the New York Stock Exchange, U.S.A, March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Bansari Maiur Kamdar and Amruta Kandekar

(Reuters] -US stocks fell Thursday amid concerns over the raging conflict with Ukraine and U.S. rate rises. The main indexes are now on track for the worst quarter since the 2020 pandemic.

This week, the optimism surrounding the peace talks was fading as the Ukrainian forces prepared to face new Russian assaults in the southeast.

While the United States placed new sanctions against Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree stating foreign buyers would have to pay in Russian rubles for Russian gas starting April 1.

War-induced commodity price increases have increased inflation concerns. A more hawkish Federal Reserve stimulated growth worries and drove the U.S. main indexes towards their worst quarter since March 2020.

However, the benchmark has gained more than 5% thanks to positive economic data and an increase in megacap stocks.

For clues about labor market strength or wage growth, investors are waiting for Friday’s jobs report.

On Thursday, data showed that U.S. consumer spending declined in February. However, price pressures were continuing to rise, and inflation posted its highest annual increase since the 1980s.

A second set of data shows that jobless claims rose more than anticipated in the week ending March 26.

“Consumer spending was lower than anticipated. Inflation continues to be a problem. Eric Diton is president and managing director at Wealth Alliance.

The Fed won’t need to raise rates as often as many people believe. This is because inflation, particularly higher gasoline prices, food, rent and mortgage rates will all dampen consumer spending.

Mid-day trading was a good time to trade defensive sectors like real estate, utilities, and healthcare.

The S&P energy index was set to record its best quarter ever as oil prices jumped to multi-year highs on concerns over tighter supplies due to the war and Western sanctions on Russia.

At 12:05 PM ET, the was down 133.06 points or 0.38% at 35,095.75. The S&P 500 was down 11.39 points (or 0.25%), at 4,591.06. and the was down 46.78 point(0.32%) at 14,395.45. ET, the was down 133.06 points, or 0.38%, at 35,095.75, the S&P 500 was down 11.39 points, or 0.25%, at 4,591.06, and the was down 46.78 points, or 0.32%, at 14,395.49.

U.S. shares of Baidu (NASDAQ) dropped 6.5%, following China’s search engine giant claiming it was looking at options. The statement came after Baidu was placed on a U.S. securities regulator list of companies that could be delisted. Its streaming affiliate iQIYI dropped 8.6%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ): fell 4.8% after it kept unchanged its 2022 earnings growth forecast for low-single figures.

The NYSE showed that advancers outnumbered decliners with a ratio of 1.25 to 1. The Nasdaq showed that decliners outnumbered advances by a ratio of 1.10 to 1.

The S&P index recorded 53 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 67 new lows.