US stocks open lower as inflation weighs on sentiment

A worker cleans the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 20, 2020. — Reuters pic
A worker cleans the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 20, 2020. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, May 12 — Wall Street stocks fell again early today, extending a downward period as markets focus on inflation, tightening monetary policy and the war in Ukraine.

Data on wholesale prices showed that price increases eased in April compared with the prior month but still stand 11 per cent higher than a year ago.

The report “wasn’t awful relative to expectations,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare. 

“The key takeaway from the report is that there was some moderation in the year-over-year changes, but even so, inflation rates for producers remain at intolerably high levels that will pressure profit margins if not passed along to customers.”

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.6 per cent at 31,648.66.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.8 per cent to 3,903.27, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.1 per cent to 11,239.06.

Among individual companies, Disney fell 3.8 per cent as it reported lower profits but saw increases in subscribers to its Disney + streaming services and to its parks business. Analysts cited cautious commentary from the company about the second half of 2022. — AFP