NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell slightly in morning trading on Wall Street on Wednesday and trading remained choppy as investors grapple with the impact of rising interest rates and inflation on the economy.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2% at 10:22 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119 points, or 0.4%, to 33,067 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.
Banks and industrial companies were among the largest weights in the broader market. Wells Fargo fell 1.5% and Union Pacific 3.3%. Tech stocks also fell. Intel lost 4.5%.
Bond yields have risen. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which banks use to set rates on mortgages and other loans, rose to 3.02% from 2.97% on Tuesday evening.
European indices were down and Asian markets closed mostly higher overnight.
It’s been a turbulent week for the major indices, which have oscillated between gains and losses, sometimes hour by hour. The benchmark S&P 500 index finally closed higher every day this week, putting it on track for weekly gains. It has posted losses for the past eight out of nine weeks.
Big worries on Wall Street remain rising inflation and whether the Federal Reserve’s decision to aggressively raise interest rates will help soften the impact or possibly push the economy into a recession. .
Inflation continues to weigh on businesses. Lawn care products company Scotts Miracle-Gro fell 7.7% after it cut its profit forecast for the year because retailers are not restocking orders as expected. Retailers have warned that inflation is dampening sales as consumers shift to spending on services or focusing on necessities rather than buying otherwise discretionary items, like electronics.
The impact of inflation has only been aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has added pressure on energy and food prices since February. U.S. crude oil prices were relatively flat on Wednesday, but rose 59% on the year, while wheat prices rose 39% in 2022. Supply chains also tightened following a a series of shutdowns for Chinese cities battling COVID-19 cases.
These two problems have prompted the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development to revise its economic growth forecasts downwards, following several other international groups, including the World Bank, which expect inflation to have a lingering impact on economies around the world.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, said she expects inflation to remain high and be a top priority. The Fed is widely expected to raise its main short-term interest rate by half a percentage point at its meeting next week. It would be the second consecutive increase of double the usual amount, and investors are expecting a third in July.
The next big inflation update comes on Friday, when the US government releases its latest reading on the Consumer Price Index.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.