US stocks end down after another sluggish session

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Financial stock exchange market display screen board on the street
Financial stock exchange market display screen board on the street

Wall Street stocks finished lower after another sluggish session Wednesday as markets look ahead to key consumer inflation data.

"It's quiet, light trading, just spinning its wheels, and been doing that since the beginning of the week," said Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities. "We are stuck in a trading range pattern until we get news that will motivate the market on either side of the equation."

Major indices have edged in and out of positive territory all week in a period with few major earnings reports or economic data.

However, investors are keen for Thursday's reading on consumer prices for May, an important indicator of whether inflation is picking up significantly.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.4 percent to end the day at 34,447.14.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent to 4,219.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.1 percent at 13,911.75.

Among individual companies, Campbell Soup fell 6.6 percent as it reported that sales dropped 11 percent from the year-ago period to $2.0 billion, reflecting a decline from the surge seen in 2020 caused by pantry-loading in the early days of the pandemic.

Leading so-called "meme" stocks" mostly fell following recent gains propelled by retail investors on the Reddit platform. Clover Health sank 23.6, while AMC Entertainment lost 10.4 percent. GameStop gained 0.4 percent.

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