Stocks lower, bond yields rise after inflation report

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 | The Associated Press


In this Nov. 23, 2020 file photo, the New York Stock Exchange is seen in New York. Stocks are opening lower, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, on Wall Street and bond yields are rising as investors reacted to a worse-than-expected increase in inflation last month. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Stocks were broadly lower again Wednesday as investors' concerns about inflation grew after government data showed signs of prices increasing across a number of goods.

The S&P 500 index was down 1.1% as of 10:47 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 286 points, or 0.8%, to 33,984 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq was down 1.8%.

Investors reacted negatively to the Labor Department's report that showed consumer prices rose 0.8% in April, with inflation rising the fastest year-over-year since 2008. Investors have been worrying that inflation could return after being absent for many years as the economy revs out of the recession brought on by the pandemic. However Federal Reserve officials and other economists have said moderate inflation may be a good thing in a recovery.

Investors have worried about inflation since bond yields spiked earlier this year, though yields have mostly stabilized since then. The yield on the 10-year Treasury did bump up on the inflation report, rise to 1.67% from 1.62% the day before.

Rising inflation makes stocks seem more expensive, particularly high-value tech stocks that trade on the potential for their future profits in coming years. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon were all down 1% or more.

Energy prices continued to climb following the shutdown of a major gas pipeline on the East Coast earlier in the week, and there are now reports of gasoline hoarding happening in places like North Carolina. Crude oil prices rose 1.9% and wholesale gasoline rose 1.8%.

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