Wall Street takes a breather as Delta variant, labor market fears weigh

 Wall Street takes a breather as Delta variant, labor market fears weigh

Stocks fell on Tuesday, with Wall Street indices retreating from last week’s record highs, with analysts closely watching the labor market as rising COVID-19 infections cloud the outlook.

Last week, the S&P 500 Index set an all-time high, and the Nasdaq Composite briefly hitting an intraday record, despite August’s jobs data falling far short of market expectations. While payrolls showed the economy creating a relatively slim 235,000 new positions, the data stoked speculation that the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) could alter its timetable for scaling back its stimulative bond-buying, which has propped up investor confidence. 

“On balance, we expect the September FOMC statement to confirm the July minutes that tapering can begin later this year,” wrote Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex, in a morning research note.

“While the Fed will want to preserve the maximum flexibility,…

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