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The stock market was mixed in wild trading on Friday, amid heavy losses this week that briefly pushed the S&P 500 into a bear market as investors continue to get whipsawed by concerns about inflationary pressures and rising rates.


Stocks pared back losses to finish flat: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down around 500 points before paring back losses, while the S&P 500 was flat and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3%.

Amid one of its worst starts to a year on record, the S&P 500 briefly plunged into a bear market on Friday—at one point down over 20% from its intraday record high in January—and posted its seventh straight week of losses, its longest down streak since March 2001.

Markets have taken another hit this week as a result of rising recession fears and increasingly hawkish commentary from the Federal Reserve, with Chair Jerome Powell recently pledging the central bank “won’t hesitate” to keep raising interest rates.

Stocks have been “heavily for sale,” continuing to take a hit from rising concerns about surging inflation causing an economic slowdown, with investors “only focusing on the negative right now,” says Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli.

The sharp selloff in retail stocks this week has been particularly “ugly” as investors “continue to puke out of the group” following warnings from major companies like Target and Walmart about inflationary pressures impacting profits, he adds.

Ross Stores was the latest retailer to report disappointing quarterly earnings, with its stock plunging 20% ​​after the company’s CEO said sales took a hit as consumers are “feeling the pinch from the increase in prices.”