Left: Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange; photo courtesy of Reuters/Peter Foley
(New York) US stocks fell today, with both the Nasdaq and the S&P down by more than 1 percent. Analysts pointed to investor fears about higher interest rates, inflation, and a global selloff in equities markets.
The glum traders on Wall Street, however, fared much better than investors around the globe in the past 24 hours. The Japanese Nikkei index plunged more than 4 percent, its biggest one-day loss in two years. In Bombay, Indian shares plummeted 4.5 percent to their lowest point this year.
The market's downward spiral comes as investors around the world nervously await US inflation data due out today and tomorrow.
"It is becoming more widely accepted that the Fed is likely to raise rates at its June meeting and that is being slowly priced into the market," said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer of Advisors Capital Management. "The PPI [Producer Price Index] today did nothing to relieve investor concerns. It wasn't a truly troublesome number but it was not a helpful number, so we need more information, and the CPI is the next number to look at."
Government data on the core Producer Price Index for May showed costs rising somewhat higher than analysts on Wall Street predicted.