Stocks open higher on Wall Street following last week’s rout

NEW YORK — Stocks are opening higher, clawing back some of the losses from their worst week since early December.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8% early today and is on pace for just its second gain in the last seven days. The Dow and the Nasdaq also rose.

Last week, U.S. shares suffered their worst setback since early December. Reports on inflation, the jobs market and retail spending have come in hotter than expected, raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will have to maintain an aggressive fiscal policy stance in a lengthening battle against inflation, meaning an elevated benchmark interest rate.

Higher rates pressure business activity and investment, and a string of rate hikes has not led to a consistent slowing of growth as hoped.

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that inflation, and associated inflation expectations and wage pressures, will not decline in a predictable linear manner,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. Geopolitical tensions also were weighing on sentiment, it said, after the U.S. and other western countries imposed new sanctions on Russia for its war on Ukraine.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has warned that any decline in prices would not be a straight line.