US STOCKS-Wall St closes lower as inflation jitters spark broad sell-off
For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.
Updates with closing prices
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday as rising commodity prices and labor shortages fed fears that despite reassurances from the U.S. Federal Reserve, near-term price spikes could translate into longer-term inflation.
While all three indexes pared their losses from session lows, the sell-off was fairly evenly dispersed across the sectors.
"Today feels like a catch-up in that tech has been weak so far this month and it’s finally spilled over into other areas of the market and we’re seeing broader weakness," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Economic data released on Tuesday from the Labor Department showed job openings at U.S. companies jumped to a record high in March, further evidence of the labor shortage hinted by Friday's disappointing employment report. nL1N2MY1DO
The report suggests labor supply is not keeping up with surging demand as employers scramble to find qualified workers.
Burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill CMG.N announced it would hike the average hourly wage of its workers to $15, a further sign that the worker shortage in the face of a demand revival could add fuel to the inflation surge. nL4N2MX43H
That worker shortage, along with a supply drought in the face of booming demand could contribute to what is seen as inevitable prices spikes, which the U.S. Federal Reserve has repeatedly said are unlikely to translate into long-term inflation.
"The inflation concerns continue," Detrick said. "The supply chain issues coupled with record stimulus coupled with apparently a tighter labor market have all contributed to fears that inflation could trend higher over the summer months."
"I don’t think (the market) believes the Fed when it says they won’t raise rates until after 2023," Detrick added. "That could be where the market and the Fed do not see eye to eye."
Market participants will scrutinize the Labor Department's CPI report, due early Wednesday, for further signs of potential inflationary pressures. (Graphic on inflation)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 473.66 points, or 1.36%, to 34,269.16, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 36.33 points, or 0.87%, to 4,152.1 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 12.43 points, or 0.09%, to 13,389.43.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, only materials .SPLRCM ended the session green. Energy .SPNY suffered the largest percentage loss, closing down 2.6%
The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, a measure of investor anxiety, closed at 21.85, its highest level since March 11.
Boeing Co BA.N lost 1.7% after the planemaker announced deliveries of its 737 MAX fell to just four planes in April due to an electrical problem. nL4N2MY3AZ
Tesla Inc TSLA.O continued its slide, dropping 1.9% following the electric automaker's decision to expand its Shanghai plant owing to heightened U.S.-China tensions. nL1N2MY19D
Mall REIT Simon Property Group Inc SPG.N fell 3.2% after the company said it does not expect a return to 2019 occupancy levels until next year or 2023. nL4N2MX450
L Brands Inc LB.N announced it will split into two publicly traded companies, Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret. Its stock dropped 1.8%. nL4N2MY35R
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.85-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.62-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted seven new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 28 new highs and 224 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.78 billion shares, compared with the 10.33 billion average over the last 20 trading days.
GRAPHIC-U.S. inflation gaugeshttps://tmsnrt.rs/2SxpkST
(Reporting by Stephen Culp
Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
(([email protected]; 646-223-6076;))