Stocks sharply dropped on Wednesday as market participants pulled out of high-growth stocks like technology shares as key inflation data for April showed higher-than-expected price increases. All three major benchmarks declined, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq leading losses.
The Consumer Price Index jumped 4.2% in April compared to a year ago, according to the Labor Department's latest report on Wednesday, with inflation accelerating at its fast pace since 2008. The month's reading was above the 3.6% increase expected by Dow Jones estimates. The month-to-month gain for April was 0.8%, above the 0.2% expected.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices from the reading, core CPI rose by 3% year-over-year and 0.9% month-to-month, above respective estimates of 2.3% and 0.3%.
Here's how the market settled on Wednesday:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): -2.15% or -89.12 points to 4,062.98
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): -1.99% or -681.76 points to 33,587.40
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): -2.67% or -357.75 points to 13,031.68
For Stocks, Virgin Galactic (SPCE ) continued to trade choppy on Wednesday, with shares dropping after Cathie Wood's Ark Invest revealing that its ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX ) had sold almost all of its stake in the space tourism company.
For Sector Performance, Energy (XLE ) was the only sector on the S&P 500 to end Wednesday's session in the green, with Materials (XLB ), Information Technology (XLK ) and Consumer Discretionary (XLY ) leading deep losses.
For Commodities and Currency, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) bounced off its previous session lows on Wednesday as traders fear that raising inflation may bring the Federal Reserve to tighten its monetary policy sooner that prior forecasts. The dollar index rose to 90.77 against six other currencies in later market trade. Gold (GLD ) prices declined on Wednesday as raising inflation boosted U.S. Treasury yields and the U.S. Dollar. Spot gold traded 0.9% lower at $1,820.11 per ounce in the afternoon, while U.S. gold futures settled down by 0.72% to $1,822.60 per ounce. Crude oil futures rose on Wednesday on signs of a recovering economy and positive forecasts for energy demand. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) climbed 1.1% higher at $69.29 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate (USO ) settled 1.2% higher at $66.03 each.
For Thursday, all eyes will be on the Labor Department's weekly unemployment report amid increased inflation jitters.