Stocks end lower, but S&P 500 close out wild May virtually unchanged


Stocks ended lower Tuesday, capping a volatile May that saw the S&P 500 flirt with a bear market but end the month virtually unchanged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.67% fell around 221 points, or 0.7%, to close near 32,992, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.63% shed 26 points, or 0.6%, to finish near 4,132. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.41% fell around 50 points, or 0.4%, to end near 12,081. Stocks fell sharply in May, with the S&P 500 on May 19 briefly trading below the 20% pullback threshold that would mark a bear market before recovering. Stocks then bounced sharply last week. The Dow eked out a 0.04% monthly gain, while the S&P 500 finished with a gain of 0.01%. The Nasdaq dropped 2.1%. Fears that rising inflation pressures would begin to undercut corporate profit margins and worries that aggressive Fed tightening could spark a recession were among the factors cited for market volatility.

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