US stocks fall on renewed inflation concerns

NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks lost ground March 14, as a hotter than expected wholesale prices report reignited worries over inflation and sent Treasury yields higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.4 per cent to 38,905.66, while the broad-based S&P 500 Index dropped 0.3 per cent to 5,150.48.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slid 0.3 per cent, reaching 16,128.53.

The producer price index (PPI) came in above analyst expectations, rising 0.6 per cent in February.

With the cost of goods driving the increase, the concern is that Federal Reserve policymakers would opt to keep interest rates elevated for longer to rein in inflation.

Fed officials are due to announce their rate decision next week after a two-day meeting.

“It’s clear that we are not going to get any dovish statement,” said Mr Peter Cardillo, of Spartan Capital, about the Fed’s likely position.

“They are going to be very cautious and probably not giving any indication when the first rate cut commences,” he added.

On March 14, the yields on two-year and 10-year Treasury notes moved up amid interest rates concerns.

Treasury bond yields are seen as a proxy for US interest rates.

Among individual companies, US Steel shares fell 6.4 per cent after President Joe Biden said he was against the proposed sale of the company to Japan’s Nippon Steel.

But shares in tech giant Microsoft rose 2.4 per cent while Apple was up 1.1 per cent as well.

Amazon gained 1.2 per cent.

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