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Markets lose ground for third straight week

Markets lose ground for third straight week

A day of losses Friday erased hopes on Wall Street that this would be September's first week in positive territory.

Instead, stocks were down for a third consecutive week after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 245 points, or 0.9 percent on Friday, and the S&P 500 slid 38 points, or 1.1 percent.

The S&P, which had broken its pre-pandmic record earlier in the month, fell to a September low.

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Tech stocks, which fueled the earlier rise in markets, also dragged down the indexes, with decreases around 3 percent in midday trading for Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet, the parent company to Google.

The recent slump, which has come amid volatile waves of daily trading, follows an exuberant August that was one of the best on record for market gains.

Some analysts see the September drawback as a necessary retreat from the previous month's highs, which saw huge increases in price-to-earnings ratios that may indicate a bubble, fueled by ultra-low interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

The market's performance in recent months has largely been in stark contrast to the U.S. economy, which continues to suffer from the COVID-19 pandemic. While unemployment has fallen faster than expected, it's still more than double the level before the coronavirus took hold, at 8.4 percent.