As the market prepares to close out the worst first half of the year since 1970, stocks fluctuated on Wednesday, following a failed attempt by the major averages to bounce earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day up 82.32 points, or 0.27%, to 31,029.31, while the other benchmarks closed slightly in the red. The S&P 500 slipped 0.07% to 3,818.83, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched lower by 0.03% to 11,177.89.
Investors continued their search for the bottom of a vicious market sell-off as the second quarter ended Thursday. Fears of a recession are growing due to concerns about a slowing economy and aggressive rate hikes in the first half of 2022. “We expect significant volatility this summer, with ‘face-ripping’ short-covering rallies followed by economically-inspired market slumps,” Wells Fargo senior equity analyst Christopher Harvey said in a note Wednesday. “While a much anticipated market ‘washout’ could catalyze a more sustained move higher, we think the market will not sustain a rally until it believes the Fed will toggle from a 50-75bp tightening to a more mundane 25bp increase.” The S&P 500, down about 20% in 2022, is on pace for its worst first half of the year since 1970, when the index lost 21.01%. Meanwhile, on a quarterly basis, both the Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their worst performance since 2020. The Nasdaq is headed toward its worst three-month period since 2008. On Wednesday, General Mills shares rose about 6.4% after the company topped earnings and revenue forecasts for its most recent quarter. Shares of Goldman Sachs added nearly 1.3% after Bank of America upgraded them to a buy and said the bank would thrive even in an economic slowdown.