Shares fall on Wall Street, extending market losses – Press Enterprise

By DAMIAN J. TROISE

NEW YORK (AP) – Shares fell sharply in morning trading on Wall Street on Monday as concerns about rising inflation and interest rate hikes weigh on investors and prolong market losses.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2% at 10:19 Eastern and more than 90% of the shares in the index lost ground. The decline follows a weak close last week that lowered the benchmark index for the third week in a row.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 371 points, or 1.1%, to 33,440, and the Nasdaq fell 0.6%.

US equities are following global markets, particularly in China, due to concerns that austerity measures could squeeze the world’s second-largest economy and potentially hurt global economic growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 3.7 per cent. Shanghai Composite fell 5.1 percent.

China’s capital, Beijing, on Monday began mass tests of more than 3 million people and restricted residents of part of the city to their connections, sparking concerns about a wider shutdown similar to Shanghai. This city has been locked in for more than two weeks, and it has already caused the International Monetary Fund to trim its growth forecast for China’s economy.

The prices of ultra-safe US government bonds rose as traders avoided risk. The interest rate on the 10-year Treasury, which affects interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell markedly to 2.78% from 2.90% late Friday.

Energy companies were among the biggest losers as US crude oil prices fell 5.6%. Exxon Mobil fell 5.2 per cent.

Banks and technology stocks also fell sharply. Bank of America fell 3.2% and Apple fell 1.6%.

Twitter rose 3.4% and was one of the few bright spots in the market. Social media company and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are reportedly negotiating a takeover bid.

Rising inflation remains a key problem for investors. Investors continue to focus on the measures taken by central banks to mitigate the impact on businesses and consumers. The chairman of the Federal Reserve has indicated that the central bank may raise short-term interest rates by twice the usual amount at upcoming meetings, from next week. The Fed has already raised its primary day-to-day interest rate once, the first such increase since 2018.

Investors have a tough week with corporate earnings ahead. Reactions to the latest round of corporate reports have been mixed, and several disappointing profit reports last week shook what has been the market’s most important backing.

Beverage giant Coca-Cola was largely unchanged on Monday after reporting strong economic results. Google, Parents, Alphabet and General Motors will report their results on Tuesday along with Microsoft and Visa. Boeing, Ford and Facebook parent Meta are on deck to report results on Wednesday.

Thursday is a particularly busy day and will include reports from industry giants Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Amazon and Apple, among others.

Wall Street will also get some important economic data this week. The Conference Council will publish its survey of consumer confidence for April on Tuesday. The Ministry of Commerce publishes its first quarterly report on gross domestic product on Thursday.

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