Risk-off sentiments once again prevailed on Wall Street on Wednesday, as several notable names slipped to their lowest levels in more than a year and large tech stocks suffered a more than $200 billion stumble.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 198 points, or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 0.7% and 1.1%, respectively.
Disney, Pfizer and Walgreens, three of the Dow’s 30 constituent stocks, each tanked to their lowest share price in more than a year Wednesday.
Also slumping were the seven mega-cap tech stocks which have exploded in value this year —the group lost roughly $240 billion in market capitalization Wednesday, led by Apple and Nvidia’s respective 4% and 3% slides.
The slide came after the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. services index revealed prices paid by companies in the services sector rose by 2.1% last month, a worrisome sign for sticky inflation as investors continue to react sourly to any indication the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates higher for longer.
“The ISM reinforced all the concerns that have been bedeviling stocks for weeks,” Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli, explaining the Fed won’t react kindly to “sticky inflation” and the subsequent rise in bond yields will hurt other equity valuations.
Wednesday was Apple stock’s third-worst day of 2023.
“The two big challenges facing the Fed right now are the risks that inflation could become entrenched and the risks that the consumer could falter when excess savings dry up,” wrote LPL Financial chief economist Jeffrey Roach, cautioning investors about a “bumpy ride” ahead.
What To Watch For
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ release of August’s consumer price index reading, the most-tracked inflation metric, will shed light on how the Fed’s battle on inflation’s progress. “Stocks are looking at a grim second half” of September if CPI comes in higher than 4.7% annual inflation forecasted by economists, Crisafulli predicted.