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U.S. Stocks Down Sharply Again After Wednesday's Rout


Specialists Jay Woods (right) and Thomas McArdle work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The market's recent decline was set off by a sharp drop in bond prices and a corresponding increase in yields last week and early this week.

Specialists Jay Woods (right) and Thomas McArdle work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The market's recent decline was set off by a sharp drop in bond prices and a corresponding increase in yields last week and early this week.

Richard Drew, AP

After the huge sell-off yesterday and further losses in Asian and European markets, U.S. stocks fell again today at the opening bell.

The Dow Industrials dropped 130 points before recovering and climbing toward positive territory. Stocks then bounced between gains and losses before heading lower.

Yesterday, the Dow Industrials plunged more than 830 points as investors worried that rising interest rates might slow economic growth. The Federal Reserve has been gradually raising interest rates to less stimulative levels in response to strong growth in the U.S. economy and historically low unemployment levels. Investors worry the Fed might now raise rates faster to head off increases in inflation that could come from rising wages.

But a government inflation report released today showed consumer prices rose a bit less than expected in September.

The core Consumer Price Index was up just 0.1 percent. Mickey Levy of Berenberg Capital Markets says, “Despite the market’s apparent concerns about an imminent acceleration in inflation, recent producer, consumer, and import price data all point to moderating inflationary pressures after an acceleration earlier this year.”

U.S. stocks gained ground after the inflation report, but then headed lower again after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that no new negotiations have been set with China to reduce trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies. Investors worry the tariffs imposed in the trade dispute could boost inflation, slow global growth and reduce company profits, all negatives for stocks.

Tech stocks are the biggest loser in the recent sell-off. Yesterday, Netflix was down more than 8 percent, Amazon was off 6 percent, and Apple and Google were both down more than 4.5 percent. But many tech stocks are falling from record highs. For instance Netflix remains up nearly 70 percent for the year, despite the recent decline.

Overnight Chinese stocks fell 5 percentage while South Korean and Japanese stocks lost around 4 percent. European indexes shed a little less than 2 percent.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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