The stock market posted the worst first half of any year since 1970

By CNN Business

Updated 6:10 p.m. ET, June 30, 2022
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4:17 p.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Markets post worst first half of the year since 1970

From CNN Business' Nicole Goodkind

US stocks closed down on Thursday, with the S&P 500 printing its worst first half of the year since 1970.

Today's close marked the end of the second quarter, during which investors grappled with the uncertainties of geopolitical unrest, high levels of inflation, Covid-19 lockdowns and a hawkish Federal Reserve. The Dow and S&P 500 closed out their worst three-month period since 2020 while The Nasdaq ended its worst quarter since 2008.

Stock buybacks, meanwhile set quarterly and 12-month records at $281 billion and $985 billion respectively, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt.

As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.

1:00 p.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Stocks try to stage a comeback...

From CNN Business' David Goldman

After plunging more than 500 points, the Dow is well off its lows, down only 130 points, or 0.4%

The S&P 500, which was at one point down 2%, is now down just 0.2%

The Nasdaq is still down 0.5% but was much lower earlier in the day.

11:55 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Markets are in trouble, but history shows there is hope on the horizon

from CNN Business' Nicole Goodkind

The S&P 500 is preparing to wrap up its worst first half in more than 60 years. 

The last time the index, which is down by over 20% after entering bear market territory two weeks ago, hit such a bad midyear point was in 1962, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Markets this year have been roiled by a number of unfriendly headwinds: Russia's war in Ukraine, Covid-19 lockdowns in China, surging inflation and aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. All of these factors have fueled investor fears of a recession, causing a rush to the exits. The S&P 500 has lost $8.2 trillion in total dollars since the start of the year. 

The index is on track to have its worst June since 2008 and its worst quarter since 1970, with all 11 sectors in the red. 

In short, things are looking dire. But that doesn't mean they'll stay that way.

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9:44 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Stocks open lower

From CNN Business' David Goldman

The New York Stock Exchange stands in lower Manhattan on June 27 in New York City.
The New York Stock Exchange stands in lower Manhattan on June 27 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

US stocks tumbled Thursday after another key inflation report showed prices remained stubbornly high.

Stocks are set to close out the worst start to the first half of any year since 1970.

The Dow was down 450 points or 1.3%.

The S&P 500 fell 1.3%.

The Nasdaq was 1.2% lower.

9:08 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Bitcoin tumbles to $19,000

From CNN Business' David Goldman

(Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)
(Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

Bitcoin fell sharply as risk-averse investors continued to fear cryptocurrencies.

The world's most popular crypto fell more than 4%, at one point tumbling below $19,000. It has lost 60% of its value this year -- and it's one of the better-performing digital coins.

Crypto lender Celsius Network earlier this month said it would suspend customer withdrawals. Coinbase announced layoffs. And crypto experts fear a wider shakeout is yet to come.

8:40 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Key inflation measure holds steady in May

From CNN Business' Alicia Wallace

An inflation gauge closely followed by the Federal Reserve showed consumer prices remained flat in May, indicating that inflation had yet to abate, despite the central bank's initial efforts to cool the economy.

The monthly Personal Consumption Expenditures price index increased by 6.3% for the year ended in May, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That matches April's reading and suggests that price hikes have taken a breather since hitting a 40-year-high of 6.6% in March.

The latest PCE report comes just three weeks after the Consumer Price Index, another key inflation measure, showed prices rose by 8.6% year-over-year, their highest increase in 40 years.

8:47 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Dealmaking drop-off reveals rise in business anxiety

From CNN Business' Julia Horowitz

A pedestrian passes a branch of Boots retailer and pharmacy in London on July 9, 2020.
A pedestrian passes a branch of Boots retailer and pharmacy in London on July 9, 2020. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Dealmaking booms when markets are stable and businesses are feeling good about the economy and access to financing. When conditions deteriorate, confidence flags, and the number of companies going public or pursuing takeovers drops. That's what is happening now.

Details, details: The number of global initial public offerings, or IPOs, has dropped by 54% so far this year compared to 2021, according to data from Dealogic provided to Before the Bell. Mergers and acquisitions have plunged by 25%.

The drop-off comes as central banks around the world hike interest rates, leading to higher borrowing costs and tighter financial conditions. Decades-high inflation is also feeding recession fears as consumers begin to deplete their pandemic-era savings, roiling markets and generating questions about how long the economic recovery can last.

In this environment, companies that had wanted to execute IPOs or sell their businesses are staying on the sidelines — preferring to wait for a market recovery when they could raise more money from investors.

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7:51 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

The market’s worst first half since 1970

From CNN Business' Nicole Goodkind

Well, we’ve reached the half year mark (already, we know) and here’s where we stand.

The S&P 500 is in a bear market and down 20% for the year. If it closes there, it would be the worst first half in 52 years.

That’s not necessarily terrible news for stocks, though: Previous years that were down at least 15% at the midway point to the year got better as the year progressed. In the final six months of those years, stocks rose every single time, with an average return of nearly 24%. 

8:39 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

A key inflation indicator is expected to show prices keep surging

From CNN Business' David Goldman

The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, or PCE, is expected to show prices surged 0.7% over the past month – up from 0.2% in April. That’s not the direction we want prices to go, and bad news for the Fed’s favorite inflation indicator.

Prices around the world have risen despite central banks' actions to raise interest rates to tame inflation. Although so-called core inflation has calmed down, that doesn't mean much for consumers who still have to pay for the volatile food and energy prices that "core" inflation discounts.

The continued rise in prices has undermined political leaders around the world and has threatened to plunge the global economy into a recession. The continued spread of Covid, the labor shortage, disruptions to the supply chain, the energy crunch and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine are all contributing to rising prices and are beyond the control of any single policymaker to stop.