With the Federal Reserve's stance of not backing off in its fight against rapid inflation, stocks declined for a second straight week - the Dow Jones slid 4.2%, the S&P 500 lost 4% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 4.4%. As the central bank attempts to get a handle on record high inflation, continued volatility in the stock market should be expected. Economic reports from last week came back mostly positive: •National Economic Activity - better than expectation •Manufacturing (Richmond) - worse than expectation •New Home Sales - worse than expectation •Pending Home Sales - better than expectation •Consumer Sentiment - better than expectation •Personal Income - worse than expectation •Jobless Claims - better than expectation This week, investors will look for guidance from economic reports like Manufacturing, Housing, Consumer Confidence, Job Openings, Employment, Construction Spending, Labor Productivity, Vehicle Sales and Jobless Claims.
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