The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Business & Technology

August 31, 2013

Tough August, scary September

NEW YORK (AP) — August was tough on the stock market. Now, investors face an even scarier September.

Disappointing news on consumer spending helped pull stocks lower Friday in a quiet end to the market’s worst month in more than a year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed August with a loss of 3.1 percent while the Dow Jones industrial average lost 4.4 percent. Both had their biggest one-month drop since May 2012.

The month began on a high note. On Aug. 2, news that unemployment fell to its lowest level in more than four years helped lift the S&P 500 index to a record high of 1,709.67. Then things quickly changed.

Bond yields jumped, sending mortgage rates up, as investors began speculating that the Federal Reserve would withdraw some of its support for the economy as early as September.

The latest wild card is Syria.

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