Stocks fall on Wall Street as crude oil prices climb again

Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street and crude oil prices rose sharply again on Wednesday as a wave of selling all but wiped out the previous day’s gains and left the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average in the red for the week.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2%, with more than 80% of stocks in the benchmark closing lower. The Dow and Nasdaq composite each slipped 1.3%.

After a strong rally last week, the market has seen some ups and downs this week as investors weigh on concerns about rising inflation and slowing economic growth now that federal spending on various stimulus measures stimulus has faded and the central bank has signaled several interest rate hikes to come. this year as it battles soaring inflation.

Worries on Wall Street about persistently high inflation have increased since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent energy and other commodity prices soaring even further. Crude oil prices have been volatile on fears the dispute could exacerbate an already tight market. The fluctuation in prices has pushed and pulled the broader stock market.

“The market was a bit oversold maybe a few weeks ago and since then the rebound has been pretty huge,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird. “What the market does is try to find a level where it balances the remaining risks with the tailwinds.”

The S&P 500 fell 55.37 points to 4,456.24. The Dow slipped 448.96 points to 34,358.50. Both indices are now on pace for a weekly loss.

The Nasdaq fell 186.21 points to 13,922.60. Small company stocks also lost ground. The Russell 2000 fell 36.14 points, or 1.7%, to 2,052.21.

The sell-off was widespread, with technology, healthcare and financial stocks among the largest weightings in the S&P 500 index. Microsoft fell 1.5% and Abbott Laboratories 4.1%. Retailers and communications companies also lost ground.

Energy stocks rose as crude oil prices climbed more than 5%. Hess rose 4.6% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500.

Energy prices will likely remain volatile as long as the conflict continues. US President Biden travels to Europe on Thursday for an emergency NATO summit, where sanctions and the Russian oil embargo are likely to be high on the agenda.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 5.2% to $114.93 a barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, rose 5.3% to $121 a barrel. $60. Prices have so far risen more than 50% in 2022, raising concerns about the impact on a wide range of consumer goods and on consumer spending in general.

Many of the higher costs incurred by businesses have been passed on to consumers, and rising prices for food, clothing and other goods could cause them to cut back on spending, leading to slower economic growth. Central banks responded by raising interest rates to try to counter the impact of inflation.

The Federal Reserve has already announced a 0.25% hike in its benchmark interest rate and is ready to act more aggressively if necessary.

Bond yields rose overall as the market braces for higher interest rates, but fell on Wednesday. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.29% from 2.37% on Tuesday.

Investors brace for the latest round of corporate earnings as the quarter draws to a close. Some companies are already giving updates.

Adobe fell 9.3% after giving investors a disappointing financial forecast and warning that halting sales in Russia and Belarus would impact its revenue. Metals maker Worthington Industries fell 17% after reporting disappointing third-quarter earnings.

Homebuilders fell sharply after the government announced that sales of new homes in the United States fell 2% in February from a downwardly revised total sales in January. While the number of resale homes on the market remains near record lows, favoring new homes, the decline comes as mortgage rates have risen.

DR Horton slipped 5.1% and Tri Pointe Homes fell 5.9%.

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