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Stocks teetering on Wall Street, still on track for weekly gains

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TOKYO — Stocks tumbled in uncertain Wall Street trading Friday, but major indices are on track to post weekly gains.

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% as of 11:31 a.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 162 points, or 0.5%, to 34,355 and the Nasdaq fell 0.5%.

More than half of the stocks in the benchmark S&P 500 index posted gains, but losses at some big tech companies dragged the broader market down. Higher valuations for technology sector companies make them more important to push the market up or down.

Apple fell 2.2%.

After a week of volatility, all major indices are moving towards weekly gains. The markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and they close at 1 p.m. on Easter Friday.

Markets in Asia and Europe were mixed and crude oil prices were relatively stable.

Long-term bond yields have risen. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 3.72% from 3.69% late Wednesday, impacting mortgage rates.

Investors had a relatively quiet day, although concerns about inflation, higher interest rates and a possible recession were still high on Wall Street.

Investors’ biggest concern has been whether the Federal Reserve can tame the highest inflation in decades by raising interest rates without going too far and triggering a recession. The central bank’s benchmark interest rate is currently at 3.75% to 4%, up from near zero in March. It warned that it may eventually have to raise tariffs to previously unheard-of levels to rein in high prices for everything from food to clothing.

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The minutes of the Fed’s latest policy meeting, published on Wednesday, showed that officials agreed that the prospect of a small rate hike “soon” would be appropriate. It was welcomed by investors concerned that continued aggressive rate hikes could put too much strain on an already weak economy.

Investors are also eyeing China’s lockdown and restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection, as the direction China takes will affect the rest of Asia and global supply chains.

China is extending a pandemic lockdown, including in a city where workers at Apple’s iPhone factory clashed with police this week as the number of COVID-19 cases hit a daily record.

Wall Street is getting several major economic updates next week. The trade group Conference Board will release its consumer confidence report in November, which could give investors more insight into how consumers are coping with inflation. The US government also publishes its closely monitored monthly employment report.

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Yuri Kageyama contributed to this report.

Damian J. Trois, The Associated Press

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