US stocks end mixed after another day of erratic trading

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The stock market ended another erratic day of trading with mixed results as investors grapple to understand what’s next with inflation and the U.S. central bank’s response to it

12 May 2022, 20:12

5 min read

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies are leading stocks broadly lower on Wall Street in afternoon trading Thursday after investors received another dire readout on inflation.

The S&P 500 was down 1.1% as of 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 417 points, or 1.3%, to 31,423 and the Nasdaq fell 0.9%.

Most of the 11 sectors in the S&P 500 were in the red. Technology stocks were once again among the biggest weights on the broader market. Apple fell 3.8% and chipmaker Nvidia fell 4.6%. The tech sector made solid gains during the pandemic amid a broad shift to working and shopping from home, but it has seen sharp declines as inflation worsens and interest rates head higher.

“The pullback in growth stocks, tech in particular, has been dramatic,” said Brian Price, head of investment management at Commonwealth Financial Network. “We have a reckoning, if you will, that maybe we did go too far too fast” with many of those stocks.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.84% from 2.92%.

Major indexes are all in the red for the week as investors worry about rising inflation, rising interest rates and their impact on the economy.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported that wholesale prices soared 11% in April from a year earlier. Many of the costs at the wholesale level are being passed on to consumers as companies try to cover higher expenses. That has raised more concerns about a potential pullback in spending that could crimp economic growth.

Inflation pressure has been building for consumers. On Wednesday, the Labor Department’s report on consumer prices came in hotter than Wall Street expected. It also also showed a bigger increase than expected in prices outside food and gasoline, something economists call “core inflation” and which can be more predictive of future trends.

Rising inflation has prompted the Federal Reserve to pull its benchmark short-term interest rate off its record low near zero, where it spent most of the pandemic. It also said it may continue to raise rates by double the usual amount at upcoming meetings. Investors are concerned that the central bank could cause a recession if it raises rates too high or too quickly.

Inflation has been worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the conflicts impact on rising energy prices. China’s recent lockdowns amid concerns about a COVID-19 resurgence have also worsened supply chain and production problems at the center of rising inflation.

The impact of higher prices for consumers has been global. On Thursday, Britain said its economy grew at the slowest pace in a year during the first quarter. That is raising fears that the country may be headed for a recession.

The latest round of corporate earnings are also being closely watched by investors as they assess how companies and industries are handling the pressure from inflation. Entertainment giant Disney fell 2.2% after missing analysts’ forecasts in its latest earnings report. Coach and Kate Spade owner Tapestry jumped 15.4% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting strong financial results.

“We’ll continue to pay attention to what the Fed has to say, but it’s worthwhile to pay attention to company outlooks on earnings calls,” Price said. “That’s something that investors will focus more and more on as we go into the second half of the year, how durable are company earnings.”

Bitcoin also got caught up in the selling Thursday. The digital currency was down 5.3% to $28,254, according to CoinDesk. Only six months ago it was over $66,000.

“Bitcoin is still vulnerable to one last plunge that could coincide with a stock market selloff, before many crypto investors feel the bottom is in place,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, wrote in a research note Thursday.

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Veiga reported from Los Angeles.


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