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Snapshot: August starts on high note, ends low

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Disappointing news on consumer spending helped pull stocks lower Friday in a quiet end to the market’s worst month in more than a year. The S&P 500 closed August with a loss of 3.1 percent while the Dow lost 4.4 percent. Both had their biggest one-month drop since May 2012. August started on a high note. On Aug. 2, news that unemployment fell to its lowest level in more than four years helped lift the S&P 500 to a record high of 1,709.67. Then things quickly changed. Bond yields jumped, sending mortgage rates up, as investors began speculating that the Fed would withdraw some of its support for the economy as early as September.

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