Markets Post Worst First Half of a Year in Decades

Global markets closed out their most bruising first half of a year in decades, leaving investors bracing for the prospect of further losses.

Accelerating inflation and rising interest rates fueled a monthslong rout that left few markets unscathed. The S&P 500 fell 21% through Thursday, suffering its worst first half of a year since 1970, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Investment-grade bonds, as measured by the iShares Core US Aggregate Bond exchange-traded fund, lost 11% —posting their worst start to a year in history.

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