US STOCKS-Wall Street closes in on third straight quarterly loss


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      S&P 500 set for worst September, longest streak of
declines since the Great Recession

      Nike slumps after margin warning

      Indexes down: Dow 0.73%, S&P 0.40%, Nasdaq 0.18%

 (New throughout, adds NEW YORK dateline, changes byline)
    By Stephen Culp
       NEW YORK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Wall Street wobbled to the
end of the S&P 500's steepest September decline since the global
financial crisis on Friday, closing the books on a tumultuous
quarter fraught with historically hot inflation, rising interest
rates and recession fears.
    All three major indexes were in the red, having fluctuated
through much of the session. 
    The S&P and the Dow were on track to notch their third
consecutive weekly declines, and all three indexes have set a
course for their second straight monthly losses.
    In the first nine months of 2022, Wall Street suffered three
straight quarterly declines, the longest losing streak for the
S&P and the Nasdaq since the Great Recession and the Dow's
longest in seven years.
    "It's been a very painful quarter for the stock market,"
said Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist Ingalls & Snyder
in New York. "There's uncertainty about the Fed and their
ability to keep the economy moving along as they attack
inflation and bring it down to a sustainable level."
    The Federal Reserve has rattled markets by engaging in its
most relentless series of interest rate hikes in decades in
order to rein in stubbornly high inflation, which has many
market participants eyeing key economic data for signs of a
looming recession.
    The Commerce Department's personal consumption expenditures
(PCE) report did little to assuage those fears, showing that
while consumers continue to spend, the prices they are paying
have accelerated, drifting further beyond the Fed's inflation
target and all but ensuring the central bank's hawkish monetary
policy will continue longer than investors had hoped.
    Recession fears also echoed through dire warnings from Nike
Inc  NKE.N  and cruise operator Carnival Corp  CCL.N , both
citing inflation-related margin pressures.*:nL4N3112WI*:nL4N31137I
    Shares of the companies dropped 11.9% and 21.3%,
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  fell 213.52 points,
or 0.73%, to 29,012.09; the S&P 500  .SPX  lost 14.56 points, or
0.40%, to 3,625.91; and the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  dropped
19.19 points, or 0.18%, to 10,718.32.
    Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 utilities
 .SPLRCU  and consumer staples  .SPLRCS , both considered
proxies for the bond market, suffered the largest percentage
    Apple Inc  AAPL.O , Nike Inc, and Microsoft Corp  MSFT.O 
were among the heaviest drags.
    Corporate earnings reports for the quarter that ends with
Friday's closing bell will begin landing in a few weeks, and
analyst expectations are trending downward.
    Analysts now see annual S&P 500 earnings growth of 4.5%, on
aggregate, down from the 11.1% estimate when the quarter began.
    Quarter-end fund reallocations and so-called "window
dressing" is likely contributing to the session's volatility. 
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.39-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.64-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and 55 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 15 new highs and 239 new lows.  
 (Reporting by Stephen Culp; Additional reporting by Ankika
Biswas and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan
 ((; 646-223-6076;))

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