NEW YORK — Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday, deepening a slump for major indexes as persistently high inflation continues to weigh on the economy.
The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, is coming off of its biggest drop in nearly two years. It fell another 0.4% and is down nearly 19% from the record high it set early this year. That’s just shy of the 20% point that defines a bear market. The last bear market happened just two years ago, following the outset of the virus pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 279 points, or 0.9% as of 10:02 a.m. Eastern and the Nasdaq rose 0.3%.
Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine and a slowdown in China’s economy have caused investors to reconsider the prices they’re willing to pay for a wide range of stocks, from high-flying tech companies to traditional automakers. Investors have been worried that the soaring inflation that’s hurting people shopping for groceries and filling their cars up is also walloping company profits.
Target fell another 3.6% a day after losing a quarter of its value on a surprisingly weak profit report.
Wall Street is also worried about the Federal Reserve’s plan to fight the highest inflation in four decades. The Fed is raising interest rates aggressively and investors are concerned that the central bank could cause a recession if it raises rates too high or too quickly.