Equity investors have had to go through a lot in the past few months: Concerns about inflation and the economy caused the US stock exchanges to collapse in the first half of the year like they had not done in decades.

On Thursday it went further down, even if the significant price losses from early trading were later contained.

This could not change much about the frighteningly weak half-yearly balance: The market-wide S&P 500 recorded its weakest development since 1970. The Nasdaq 100 technology selection index was its worst performance since 2002.

At the end of trading, the leading index Dow Jones Industrial recorded a daily minus of 0.82 percent to 30,775.43 points on Thursday.

The S&P 500 pared its loss to 0.88 percent from 3,785.38 points, while the Nasdaq 100 ultimately fell 1.33 percent to 11,503.72 points.

For the first half of the year, the three stock market barometers posted substantial discounts of 15, 21 and 30 percent.

Powell warns other central bankers

The risk of further rising interest rates and a recession triggered by them continues to have a firm grip on the US stock markets.

Market traders pointed out that on Wednesday US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his counterparts from the euro zone and Great Britain warned at a forum that inflation would last longer.

This has fueled the debate "that continuing to raise interest rates to fight inflation will eventually lead to a recession," wrote market strategist Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank.

When prices rise, consumers try to curb spending.

This is also confirmed by the less sharp rise in spending by US consumers in May than expected.

In addition, according to revised data, spending in the previous month had risen more slowly than previously known.

Less desire to buy new cars

The sluggish buying mood was felt on the stock exchange by the shares of car manufacturers: Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis lost between two and a half and five percent.

As a comparatively expensive consumer product, cars are often the first to slip off private shopping lists.

In addition, with rising capital market interest rates, purchase financing becomes more expensive - also for important corporate customers.

Shares in pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance fell by more than 7 percent, making them the biggest losers on the Dow.

Analyst Lisa Gill from the bank JPMorgan referred to a below-expected profitability in the third business quarter.

Papers from the Corona beer brewer Constellation Brands lost almost four and a half percent.

A trader justified the losses with a cautious outlook for the second business quarter.

Biontech and Pfizer are growing

On the other hand, Biontech and Pfizer were among the daily winners with premiums of around five and almost three percent respectively.

The US government is ordering further corona vaccines from the two companies on a large scale for a planned booster campaign in the fall.

According to Pfizer boss Albert Bourla, it is also about agents that are intended to protect against newer virus variants such as Omicron.

The euro turned positive with the reduced losses on the US stock exchanges and last cost 1.0483 US dollars in New York trading.

The European Central Bank had previously set the reference rate at $1.0387.

US government bonds, which are considered a particularly safe investment, benefited from investors' continued risk aversion: while the futures contract for ten-year Treasuries (T-Note futures) rose by 0.59 percent to 118.20 points, the yield on ten-year paper fell to 2, 99 percent - and thus below the three percent mark for the first time in almost three weeks.

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