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Dow tumbles 475 points, S&P 500 suffers worst day since January as inflation woes erupt

Stocks sold off Friday as inflation and geopolitical worries once again dented investor sentiment on Wall Street. A broad decline in major bank shares also weighed on the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 475.84 points, or 1.24%, closing at 37,983.24. The S&P 500 tumbled 1.46% at 5,123.41. The Nasdaq Composite pulled back by 1.62% at 16,175.09.

At one point in the trading session, the Dow was down by nearly 582 points, or 1.51%. The S&P 500 slid as much as 1.75%.

Week to date, the broad market index dropped 1.56%, and the 30-stock Dow fell 2.37%. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 0.45% lower for the week.

Markets are generally in good shape so far this year. The Dow is up 0.7% year-to-date. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up 8% and 9.5% respectively since the beginning of 2024.

JPMorgan Chase shares declined more than 6% after the banking giant posted its first-quarter results. The bank said net interest income, a key measure of what it makes through lending activities, could be a little short of what Wall Street analysts are expecting in 2024. CEO Jamie Dimon also warned about persistent inflationary pressures weighing on the economy. 

Wells Fargo slipped 0.4% after reporting its latest quarterly figures. Citigroup dropped 1.7% despite posting a revenue beat.

Oil prices continued their rise on reports that Israel is preparing for a direct attack by Iran this weekend, in what would be the biggest escalation of tensions in the region since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war last October. U.S. crude settled at $85.66 a barrel after rising above $87.

That, coupled with fresh U.S. imports data, added fuel to inflation concerns that have put pressure on the market.

“We’re getting further risk off sentiment heading into the weekend. You’re seeing there’s a flight to safety trade, with the dollar stronger, and we’re seeing equities sell off,” said Rob Haworth, U.S. Bank Wealth Management senior investment strategist.

“That comes on the heels of the inflation data that tells us the economy’s still pretty hot and inflation is sticky; that’s what led [investors] to really adjust their expectations around the Fed. … That’s some of why they’re getting cautious headed into the weekend,” said Haworth.

Consumers are also growing worried about the persistent inflationary pressures. The consumer sentiment index for April came in at 77.9, below the Dow Jones consensus estimate of 79.9, according to the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers. Year-ahead and long-run inflation expectations also ticked up, reflecting frustrations over sticky inflation.

This post appeared first on NBC NEWS

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