U.S. markets fall Tuesday, S&P turns in seventh consecutive winning month

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Aug. 31 (UPI) — U.S. markets dipped slightly Tuesday but turned in overall gains for the month of August.

The S&P 500 fell 0.13% at the end of trading Tuesday while rising 3% for the month, marking its seventh consecutive month of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.11% while gaining more than 1% in August and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.044% while rising 4% for the month.

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“We believe that the momentum toward reopening and recovery is intact and that there is further upside to equities,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of global wealth management at UBS, said in a note. “The S&P 500 rally is underpinned by robust earnings growth … With economic broadening, we expect cyclical sectors, including energy and financials, to take the lead.”

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 113.8 in August, falling short of expectations of 123 as the latest surge in COVID-19 cases brought on by the presence of the Delta variant raised concerns among consumers.

“Concerns about the Delta variant — and, to a lesser degree, rising gas and food prices — resulted in a less favorable view of current economic conditions and short-term growth prospects,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators for The Conference Board. “Spending intentions for homes, autos and major appliances all cooled somewhat; however, the percentage of consumers intending to take a vacation in the next six months continued to climb.”

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Nike was one of the biggest losers for the Dow, dropping 1.98% while shares of Zoom fell 16% after reporting slowing revenue growth in the second quarter.

Wells Fargo Stock also dropped 5.6% after Bloomberg reported that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned that the bank could face sanctions over its slow pace in paying back victims of its prior scandals.