Stock market today: Wall Street slips, but is still on track for weekly gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slipped in morning trading on Wall Street Friday but not enough to erase the market’s gains for the week.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7%. The benchmark index is on track for weekly gains that would help trim some of last week’s losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 103 points, or 0.3%, to 34,802 as of 10:49 a.m. Eastern. The Nasdaq fell 1.1%,

Technology stocks were the biggest drag on the market. Microsoft fell 1.5% and chipmaker Nvidia fell 2.2%.

U.S. automaker stocks were proving to be resilient after members of the United Auto Workers union walked off the job at several plants overnight. Ford fell 0.2%, General Motors rose 0.8% and Stellantis gained 1%.

Bond yields gained ground. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 4.32% from 4.29% late Thursday. The yield on the 2-year Treasury rose to 5.03% from 5.02% late Thursday.

Investors spent much of the week reviewing mostly healthy updates on the U.S. economy. The reports came ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting, where the central bank is expected to continue holding interest rates steady.

The central bank raised rates aggressively through 2022 and 2023 in an effort to tame inflation, but it maintained interest rate levels at its last meeting. Inflation has generally been easing back to the central bank’s target of 2%.

Consumer sentiment slipped a bit in September, according to a closely-watched survey from the University of Michigan. The latest reading, though, shows that overall sentiment remains strong. It also said consumers lowered their expectations for inflation in the year ahead to 3.1%, which is the lowest reading since March 2021.

Boosting market sentiment this week was a report Thursday that said U.S. shoppers spent more at retailers last month than economists expected. A separate report Thursday morning said fewer workers applied for unemployment benefits last week than expected.

A third report on Thursday said prices getting paid at the wholesale level rose more last month than economists expected. That could be a discouraging signal for households if the higher-than-expected inflation gets passed on to shoppers at the consumer level.

Inflation at the consumer level edged higher than expected in August, but high gasoline prices were the biggest driver. Oil prices have been climbing over the summer after Saudi Arabia decided to maintain production cuts. That raised concerns about gasoline prices rising and stoking inflation.

Investors are overwhelmingly betting that the Fed will hold interest rates steady when it closes a two-day meeting on Wednesday. They also expect the central bank could hold rates steady for the rest of the year. The Fed has said it remains willing to continue raising rates if it seems necessary to continue fighting inflation.

Yuri Kageyama and Matt Ott contributed to this report.