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Wall Street ended a see-saw session lower on Wednesday as market participants awaited inflation data for clues as to when the U.S. Federal Reserve might tighten its dovish monetary policy. All three major U.S. stock indexes reversed earlier gains, but remained range-bound in the absence of any clear market catalysts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 152.68 points, or 0.44%, to 34,447.14; the S&P 500 lost 7.71 points, or 0.18%, at 4,219.55; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.16 points, or 0.09%, to 13,911.75.
European stocks remained near record highs on Wednesday, with investors holding off on taking big bets ahead of a policy decision from the European Central Bank and a U.S. inflation reading later this week. The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.1% higher, but stayed just short of a record high of 455.66 hit in the previous session. The wider travel and leisure index rose 0.9% as many European economies charted their way out of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The retail “meme stock” craze continued unabated. Heavily shorted meme stocks extended their social media-driven rally, with Aethlon Medical soaring 388.2%.Reddit chatter also helped to lift shares of prison operator GEO Group and World Wrestling Entertainment 38.4% and 10.9%, respectively. GameStop named Matt Furlong as its new CEO ahead of its earnings report, which showed a quarterly loss of $1.01 per share. Its shares fell over 7% in after-hours trading.
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