U.S. stocks mostly slipped Monday, adding more losses after last week’s stumble, as worries about inflation continue to dog Wall Street.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 10.56 points, or 0.3%, to 4,163.29, with tech stocks and other former market darlings once again taking the brunt of the losses. The benchmark index is coming off a 1.4% weekly drop from its record high, which would have been even worse if not for a late rebound.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 54.34 points, or 0.2%, to 34,327.79, while the Nasdaq composite lost 50.93 points, or 0.4%, to 13,379.05.
Most stocks in the S&P 500 fell, but pockets of strength dotted around the market helped limit the damage. Energy stocks jumped as the price of crude oil rose, while producers of metals and other raw materials also climbed. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks inched up 2.49 points, or 0.1%, to 2,227.12.
They’re the latest back-and-forth eddies for a market swept up in worries about whether rising inflation will prove to be only temporary, as well as enthusiasm about a recovering economy. Prices are rising for such things as auto insurance and restaurant meals as the economy leaps out of last year’s pandemic-induced coma.
If inflation does end up being more than a blip, the fear is that the Federal Reserve will have to dial back the extensive support it has been providing to markets. That includes record-low interest rates and the monthly purchase of $120 billion in bonds meant to goose the job market and economy.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury has shot higher this year amid the inflation fears. It was at 1.65% late Monday, up from 1.63% at the end of last week. It began the year close to 0.90%.
Higher interest rates drag on most of the stock market, but they are particularly hard on stocks seen as the most expensive and those bid up for profits expected far in the future.
That has put extra pressure on tech stocks and companies promising the allure of big growth, which have been leading the market for years. Apple, Microsoft and Tesla were three of the heaviest weights on the S&P 500 on Monday, falling0.9% to 2.2%.
In recent weeks, blowout profit reports from tech titans and much of the rest of corporate America have helped validate the huge run stocks have been on for more than a year. The economy continues to strengthen as COVID-19 vaccinations roll out, and the S&P 500 roared to an 11.3% gain in the first four months of the year. That’s a bigger gain than the market has had in half of the last 20 full years.
For all the worries about inflation, many professional investors are echoing the Federal Reserve in saying that they expect rising prices to remain only “transitory.” Many analysts along Wall Street also expect the strong profit growth for companies to continue through the year as the economy and job market improve. That should help to support stock prices, though it may not give a big further boost after shares surged last year when profits…
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