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Stocks ended lower on Wall Street, giving up their gains for the week. The S&P 500 still managed to end July higher, marking six monthly gains in a row, the longest such streak since 2018. The benchmark index fell 0.5% Friday, with a big drag coming from Amazon. The online retail giant slumped 7.6% after it reported sales growth that was big but not as big as Wall Street expected. Its sales forecast also disappointed investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4% and the Nasdaq fell 0.7%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.23%.

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American consumers increased their spending by 1% in June — a dose of energy for an economy that is quickly rebounding from the pandemic recession but is facing new risks led by the delta variant of the coronavirus. At the same time, a key inflation barometer that is closely followed by the Federal Reserve surged 3.5% last month from a year earlier. That was the fastest such 12-month surge since 1991. June’s solid increase in consumer spending provided further evidence that consumers are driving a strengthening recovery from the pandemic recession. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department also showed that personal incomes, which provide the fuel for spending, edged up 0.1% in June after two months of big declines, reflecting the waning of several government support programs.

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Fueled by vaccinations and government aid, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.5% annual rate last quarter in another sign that the nation has achieved a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession. The total size of the economy has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level. The government estimated that the nation’s gross domestic product accelerated in the April-June quarter from an already robust 6.3% annual growth rate in the first quarter of the year. The quarterly figure fell well below the 8%-plus annual growth rate that many economists had predicted for the second quarter. But the miss was due mainly to bottlenecks in supply chains related to the rapid reopening of the economy. 

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The spread of the COVID-19 delta variant is raising infection rates, leading some businesses and governments to require vaccinations and raising concerns about the U.S. economic recovery. But Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell injected a note of reassurance, suggesting that the delta variant poses little threat to the economy, at least so far. Powell spoke after the Fed ended its latest policy meeting in which it it signaled that the economy is moving closer to the “substantial further progress” it wants to see before reducing the $120 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds it is buying each month to try to spur more borrowing and spending. 

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Asian stock markets are lower after Wall Street pulled back from a record. Investors looked ahead to a Federal Reserve report for signs of when U.S. stimulus might be withdrawn. Traders also were uncertain how much farther China's regulatory crackdown on its internet giants might go. On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index snapped a five-day winning streak and fell. U.S. investors turned cautious after disease-control authorities recommended even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas where the coronavirus's more contagious delta variant is spreading.