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Stock market news live updates: Stocks close out volatile month lower after rally loses steam

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U.S. stocks capped a turbulent month of May lower on Tuesday after a rally late last week failed to sustain momentum.

The S&P 500 fell 0.6% in a choppy session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 222 points, or 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.4%.

[Click here to read what's moving markets on Wednesday, June 1]

These moves come after all three indexes logged weekly gains of more than 6% Friday, clawing back from seven consecutive losing weeks for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq and eight weeks of losses for the Dow. May marked another volatile month for equity markets as concerns over inflation and interest rate hikes weighed on sentiment. Despite a mostly downbeat month, the S&P 500 and Dow each closed marginally higher for the month, while the Nasdaq extended its losses by 2%.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Ethereum (ETH-USD) rose Tuesday amid a broader relief rally in cryptocurrencies.

Oil futures pared gains late in the session after a jump in early trading following reports Chinese authorities were poised to end a two-month COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai and an agreement by EU leaders to stop purchases of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia. WTI crude oil futures climbed 3.6% to $118.70, while Brent crude oil futures rose 3.7% to $123.83.

Shares of movie theater giant AMC (AMC) jumped as much as 10% in intraday trading but closed slightly lower following the debut of TOP GUN during Memorial Day weekend. U.S. theaters saw an estimated 122% year-over-year increase from last year's holiday weekend, AMC said in a statement Tuesday, underscoring positive signs of a post-COVID recovery for the industry. Before Tuesday's close, AMC's stock surged nearly 40% across the prior three sessions.

Wall Street’s rally last week came on the heels of a favorable batch of quarterly earnings in recent trading sessions, which helped temporarily mitigate concerns over the toll of inflation on corporate profits. Signs from recent economic data that prices were peaking also helped buoy sentiment.

Still, stocks were sharply down for the year, and some strategists have been skeptical about whether a bottom has been established.

“Last week’s strength will prove to be another bear market rally in the end,” Morgan Stanley CIO Michael Wilson said in a note to clients.

Despite recovering some losses, stocks have had a volatile month, wrought by concerns over decades-high inflation and fears the Federal Reserve's efforts to rein in surging prices by raising interest rates may tip the economy into a recession.

“The primary rationale ascribed to this particular rally beyond just an oversold bounce is that the Fed may be contemplating a pause in September,” Wilson wrote, adding that “inflation remains too high for the Fed’s liking and so whatever pivot investors might be hoping for will be too immaterial to change the downtrend in equity prices.”

This week, investors are expected to take their cue from a flurry of key employment data, including the all-important May jobs report due out Friday.

Earnings season has wound down, but more reports from companies including Salesforce.com (CRM), GameStop (GME) Chewy (CHWY), and HP (HPQ) remain in the queue through Friday.

4:00 p.m. ET: Stocks round out volatile month on a downbeat

Here were the main moves in markets as Wall Street closed out the final trading day of May:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -25.77 (-0.62%) to 4,132.47

  • Dow (^DJI): -220.99 (-0.67%) to 32,991.97

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -49.74 (-0.41%) to 12,081.39

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.29 (+0.25%) to $115.36 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$16.70 (-0.90%) to $1,840.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +10.1 bps to yield 2.8440%

10:10: a.m. ET: Economic data comes in "better than feared" on Tuesday

The holiday-shortened week is data-heavy for investors, and early indications from May show some "better than feared" reports coming in as anxiety around recession has risen in recent weeks.

The MNI-Chicago PMI reading came in at 60.3 for May, better than the 55 that was expected. Any reading over 50 for this report indicates economic expansion.

The Conference Board's latest check on consumer confidence also topped expectations, hitting 106.4 for May against forecasts for a reading of 103.5. And though this May reading is down from April's level, the report showed, "views of current business conditions—which tend to move ahead of trends in jobs—improved. Overall, the Present Situation Index remains at strong levels, suggesting growth did not contract further in Q2."

And with folks noting earlier today Citi's economic surprise index falling to its lowest levels since September 2021, these reports hit the tape just in time.

—Myles Udland, senior markets editor

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks slip as Wall Street struggles to sustain momentum

Here's where the major indexes traded at the start of Tuesday's session:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -14.99 (-0.36%) to 4,143.25

  • Dow (^DJI): -205.49 (-0.62%) to 33,007.47

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +390.43 (+3.33%) to 12,131.13

  • Crude (CL=F): +$3.85 (+3.35%) to $118.92 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$3.00 (-0.16%) to $1,854.30 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +9.9 bps to yield 2.8420%

7:14 a.m. ET: Futures slip after recovery rally caps weeks-long losing streak for stocks

Here were the main moves in early trading Tuesday to start the holiday-shortened week:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): -15.05 (-0.36%) to 4,140.75

  • Dow futures (YM=F): -130.00 (-0.39%) to 33,028.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): -3.00 (-0.02%) to 12,674.75

  • Crude (CL=F): +$3.63 (+3.15%) to $118.70

  • Gold (GC=F): -$5.60 (-0.03%) to $1,851.70 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.3 bps to yield 2.7430%

A person walks through the Wall Street subway station near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York on May 27, 2022. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
A person walks through the Wall Street subway station near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York on May 27, 2022. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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