Wall Street ended its worst semester in at least 50 years, after finishing a day in the red. Other bad news for Joe Biden, whose consensus in opinion polls is at an all-time low, particularly on the economic front, amid the specter of recession, record inflation and high interest rates that are undermining wages, leading to business cuts and undermining consumer confidence. The latest data from the Commerce Department indicates a slowdown in individual spending, which grew by just 0.2% in May, versus expectations of no less than 0.4%. But the stock market is now also shaking. The three indices ended the month and the second quarter in negative territory. In particular, in the first six months, the Dow Jones suffered its worst percentage decline since 1962, while the S&P 500, the compass for many stock portfolios and pension accounts, in recent weeks entered “bearish territory,” scorching 21% of January, worst semi-annual loss since the 1970s: a rare and bleak sign of pessimism. The sales were 360 degrees, and energy was the only sector that gained: a barrel of oil at more than $100, and gas at record prices due to the conflict in Ukraine. Leading companies such as Apple, Disney, JPMorgan Chase and Target have all fallen more than the stock market average. Bonds, which are particularly sensitive to market conditions, do better, reflecting changes in inflation and interest rates more directly than stocks: an index that tracks 10-year bonds, a key benchmark for loan costs, posted a drop of about 11% in price.
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