Stocks Tumble As Investors Fear Concerns Of High Inflation

by The Chicago Times Business Staff

October 4, 2021

NEW YORK – Blood bath on Wall Street today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq both finishing lower today as concerns about higher-than-expected inflation grow in response to rising oil and natural gas prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down 324.54 points, or 0.9 percent, at 34,002.92.

The S&P 500 lost 56.58 points to close at 4,300.46, its lowest closing since July 19.

The Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 311.21 points to finish at 14,255.48, down 7.3 percent from its September 7 record closing.

Sectors fell further Monday, with markets bowing to pressure in technology and tech-related stocks.  Notably, the S&P 500 communication services sector fell 2.1 percent, led by Facebook Inc., which faced severe outages across all of its platforms.  The technology sector lost 2.4 percent.  The only industries that were not affected by the selloff were utilities and energy.

The climb in US oil to a seven-year high has fueled inflationary fears, with international benchmark Brent BRN00, 0.06 percent at its highest since 2018.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies maintained their present agreement on Monday to progressively boost crude production each month, including a 400,000 barrels per day rise in November.  Adding fuel to the fire, natural gas prices are projected to rise further, and if the winter is particularly harsh, Goldman Sachs analysts see the possibility of another doubling.

Finally, the market has been under increasing pressure, with developments concentrated on those in Washington, D.C., where heated debt ceiling negotiations are taking place and negotiations on infrastructure expenditure and social welfare spending have failed to reach an agreement.

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