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US Stocks Edge Lower Monday            11/27 15:49

   The major U.S. stock indexes ended slightly lower Monday as Wall Street 
looks ahead to updates on inflation and how American consumers are feeling 
about the economy.

   (AP) -- The major U.S. stock indexes ended slightly lower Monday as Wall 
Street looks ahead to updates on inflation and how American consumers are 
feeling about the economy.

   The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%. The benchmark index was coming off a 
holiday-shortened week in the U.S. and its fourth straight winning week. The 
Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed 0.2% lower, while the Nasdaq composite 
dropped 0.1%.

   All told, the S&P 500 fell 8.91 points to 4,550.43. The Dow slipped 56.68 
points to 35,333.47, and the Nasdaq lost 9.83 points to 14,241.02.

   Health care, communication services and industrial stocks were among the 
biggest drags on the market. Eli Lilly & Co. fell 1.6%, Meta Platforms slid 1% 
and Union Pacific closed 2% lower.

   Technology stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending were bright 
spots. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 1% and gained 0.7%.

   Shopify climbed 4.4% after the cloud-based commerce company announced a 
Black Friday record for worldwide sales of $4.1 billion from its merchants.

   In the bond market, Treasury yields fell broadly. The yield on the 10-year 
Treasury, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other loans, fell to 
4.39% from 4.47% late Friday. The yield on the 2-year Treasury slid to 4.88% 
from 4.95%.

   Stocks closed mostly lower in Asia and Europe.

   Investors have grown cautiously optimistic that inflation has cooled enough 
for the Federal Reserve to put a definitive end to its aggressive interest rate 
hikes. Meanwhile, the broader economy has remained strong enough in the face of 
rising interest rates and inflation to avoid a recession.

   Markets have been rallying on that sentiment and the S&P 500 remains on 
track to close out November as its best month of the year. Investors will get 
more updates on the economy this week to help either confirm or soften that 

   On Tuesday the Conference Board issues its latest report on consumer 
confidence, which has remained solid throughout the year. Economists polled by 
FactSet expect another solid reading for the October report.

   The price of U.S. crude oil fell 0.9% Monday, remaining mostly stable ahead 
of OPEC's meeting on Thursday. The cartel has maintained tight supplies, though 
prices have been falling over the last month. Lower energy prices could further 
ease inflation's squeeze on consumers and help fuel economic growth.

   On Thursday, Wall Street will be closely watching the government's October 
data on the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation. Economists expect 
that measure to continue easing, as it has been since the middle of 2022.

   Investors have put the latest round of surprisingly good corporate earnings 
behind them, following several disappointing quarters. The main focus through 
the end of the year will be on the Fed and what it does next.

   The Fed has been holding its benchmark interest rate steady at a range of 
5.25% to 5.50% since its last quarter-point hike at its July meeting. Wall 
Street is betting that the rate will remain stable at the central bank's 
December meeting and into early 2024, according to CME's FedWatch tool.

   Investors are increasingly leaning toward the Fed cutting rates in the 
middle of 2024 and easing it off its highest level in two decades. The central 
bank, though, has said it will make upcoming decisions based on the latest 
economic reports in its ongoing effort to cool inflation without slowing 
economic growth to the point of causing a recession.

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