Dow sheds 100 points as stocks hit by inflation fears

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Selling of U.S. stocks accelerated in late trading after the producer price index jumped 11% in April, just shy of a record, following the consumer price index which remained near a 40-year high, sparking concerns about a looming recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 100 points or 0.3%, coming back from a 500+ point deficit, while the S&P also lost 0.06%. The Nasdaq Composite rose marginally by 0.06%.

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Wednesday’s report from the U.S. Labor Department showed that inflation slowed a touch in April, down to 8.3% from 8.5% in March. Investors also found some glass-half-full signals in the data suggesting that the consumer price index, or CPI, may be peaking and set to ease further, but the numbers were still higher than economists forecasted.

INFLATION SOARS 8.3% IN APRIL, HOVERING NEAR 40-YEAR HIGH

New claims for unemployment benefits rose by 203,000 up slightly from 200,000 the previous week and holding at pre-pandemic levels. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, edged down to 1.34 million, the lowest in more than 52 years.

Benchmark U.S. inched up to $106 per barrel,while Brent Crude, the international pricing standard, settled at $107 per barrel.

DISNEY EXECUTIVES TOUT STRONG RESULTS ON SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS CALL

Shares of Disney fell after the world’s largest entertainment company warned about a slowdown in China tied to rising COVID-19 lockdowns. This after reporting earnings of $470 million, or 26 cents a share, down from $901 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were $1.08 a share, below analysts’ expectations of $1.19. Revenue for the quarter was $19.25 billion, compared with $15.61 billion a year earlier.

Disney also reported better-than-expected subscription numbers for its Disney+ streaming service in the most recent quarter, avoiding a slowdown that dogged streaming rival Netflix Inc.

Beyond Meat Inc. reported a wider-than-expected loss in its recently completed quarter because of higher spending, sending shares of the meat-alternative maker lower in after-hours trading.

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Bitcoin remained below $30,000 level.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.