Stocks slide at open on Wall Street; S&P 500 at 6-month low




A woman wearing a face mask walks near a money exchange office in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Asian markets mostly fell on Monday after a sell-off gave Wall Street its worst week since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are sliding at the open on Wall Street Monday, extending a recent run of losses that have left the S&P 500 at 6-month lows. The benchmark index is down 1.5% in the opening minutes of trading, while the Nasdaq Composite is down 1.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1%. The energy and raw materials sectors are leading the decline. Mining concern Freeport McMoRan is down 4.6% and General Motors is down almost 4%. Investors have been growing increasingly worried about how aggressively the Federal Reserve, which holds a policy meeting this week, might act to cool rising inflation.

(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) AP’s earlier story appears below.

Shares were mostly lower in Europe and Asia on Monday after Wall Street logged its worst week since the pandemic began in 2020.

Shares fell in Paris, London and Frankfurt but rose in Tokyo. Shanghai was little changed.

Investors have been growing increasingly worried about how aggressively the Federal Reserve, which holds a policy meeting this week, might act to cool rising inflation.

Historically low interest rates, dubbed quantitative easing, or QE, have helped support the broader market as the economy absorbed a sharp hit from the pandemic in 2020 and then recovered over the last two years.

“The FOMC (Fed) meeting dominates the macro calendar this week and is likely to keep risk sentiment on the hesitant side with an end to QE and imminent rates hikes likely to be announced,” economists Nicholas Mapa and Robert Carnell of ING said in a commentary.

Germany’s DAX shed 1.1% to 15,431.03 while the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 1.4% to 6,971.19. In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.7% to 7,447.03. The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials gained 0.3%.

Some economists believe the Fed and other central banks need to move faster to tamp down surging prices by raising rates. U.S. consumer prices rose 7% in December compared to a year earlier, the biggest increase in nearly four decades.

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Rising costs are raising concerns that consumers will start to ease spending because of the persistent pressure on their wallets. At the same time, outbreaks of the omicron variant of the coronavirus are threatening to slow recoveries from the crisis.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index edged 0.2% higher to 27,588.37.

Shares in electronics and energy giant Toshiba Corp. fell 1.6% after the company said it was suspending production at a factory in southern Japan that makes semiconductors for vehicles and machinery after a strong earthquake hit the region.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 1.2% to 24,656.46. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5% to 7,139.50 and India’s Sensex dropped 2.7% to 57,419.98.

South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.5% to 2,792.00 on heavy selling of big technology companies like Samsung and LG Chemical. Thailand’s SET lost 0.7%.

The Shanghai Composite index gained less than 0.1%, to 3,524.11.

On Friday, the benchmark S&P 500 sank 1.9% to 4,397.94, falling 5.7% for the week in its worst weekly loss since March 2020.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index dipped 2.7% to 13,768.92. It has fallen for four straight weeks and is now more than 10% below its most recent high, putting it in what Wall Street considers a market correction.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.3% to 34,265.37.

With investors expecting the Fed to begin raising rates as soon as its March policy meeting, costly shares in tech companies and other expensive growth stocks now look relatively less attractive.

Treasury yields have fallen as investors turn toward safer investments. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.73% from 1.76% on Friday.

The Fed’s benchmark short-term interest rate is currently in a range of 0% to 0.25%. Investors now see a nearly 70% chance that the Fed will raise the rate by at least one percentage point by the end of the year, according to CME Group’s Fed Watch tool.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 21 cents to $85.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 41 cents to $85.14 per barrel on Friday.

Brent crude, the basis for pricing international oils, added 26 cents to $88.15 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar fell to 113.62 Japanese yen from 113.68 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1327 from $1.1346.

7 Electric Vehicle Stocks That Are Ready to Charge Higher

The Biden administration has announced a framework for a slimmed-down $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill. Part of that framework will be a $12,500 tax credit for electric vehicle purchases. That increases the current subsidy by $4,500. And it’s music to the ears of EV companies in the United States who are making plans to scale production.

This doesn’t mean the country is close to having an EV in every driveway. There is still the issue of a charging infrastructure. The chip shortage will be a headwind on auto production of all types for at least the next several quarters. And many EV companies are not even on the starting blocks yet.

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View the “7 Electric Vehicle Stocks That Are Ready to Charge Higher”.



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