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Stocks fall on Wall Street as inflation fears continue to grip investors

MoneyWatch: Market recap for June 27th, 2022
MoneyWatch: Market recap for June 27th, 2022 04:11

Stocks slid on Wall Street Tuesday as the market remains gripped by uncertainty over pervasive inflation, rising interest rates and the potential for a recession. 

The S&P 500 fell 79 points to close at 2,822, or 2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.6%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 3%. The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence fell in June to its lowest level in more than a year, driven by concerns over inflation including  rising prices for gas and food

"Confidence is going to continue to shrink as long as inflation remains high," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. "It all comes back to inflation, it's ultimately driving reaction from the Fed and impacting the market and consumer confidence."

Investors face a pervasive list of concerns centering around rising inflation squeezing businesses and consumers. Supply-chain problems that have been at the root of rising inflation were made worse over the last several months by increased restrictions in China related to COVID-19.

Businesses have been raising prices on everything from food to clothing. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February put even more pressure on consumers by raising energy prices and pumping gasoline prices to record highs.

U.S. braces for possible spike in inflation and recession 04:53

Consumers were already shifting spending from goods to services as the economy recovered from the pandemic's impact, but the intensified pressure from inflation has prompted a sharper shift from discretionary items like electronics to necessities.

Stubborn inflation pressures have driven a stark shift in policy from the central bank, which is raising rates to try and temper inflation after years of holding rates down to help economic growth.

Now, they are trying to slow economic growth, but investors are worried that they could go too far and actually push the economy into a recession as key economic indicators are already showing a slowdown in things like retail sales.

Investors are awaiting remarks expected for midweek by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The Fed boosted rates by 0.75 percentage point on June 15 — its largest hike since 1994 — to try to tame the nation's fiercest bout with inflation in 40 years.

Investors will get another update on U.S. economic growth on Wednesday when the Commerce Department releases a report on first-quarter gross domestic product.

Wall Street is also preparing for the latest round of corporate earnings in the next few weeks, which will help paint a clearer picture of how companies are dealing with the squeeze from rising costs and consumers curtailing some spending.

China lockdowns hurt supply chain

Athletic footwear and apparel giant Nike fell 5.2% after giving investors a cautious update on the potential hit to revenue because of lockdowns in China. The company relies on China for roughly 17% of its revenue, according to FactSet.

Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, which have major gambling businesses in China, each rose more than 5% after China eased a quarantine requirement for people arriving from abroad.

Energy stocks also made solid gains as U.S. crude oil prices rose 1.9%. Hess rose 3.7%. Those gains were checked by losses for big technology companies. Microsoft fell 2.3% and Apple slipped 1.9%.

Treasury yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, rose to 3.20% from 3.19% late Monday. Overseas markets rose.

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