Stocks Open Lower, Bond Yields Rise

Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street and bond yields are rising as investors reacted to a bigger-than-expected increase in inflation last month. Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft were leading the way lower in the early going on Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.9%. That came after the government reported that consumer prices surged 0.8% last month, while the year-over-year rise was the fastest since 2008. Investors have been worrying that inflation could return after being absent for many years as the economy revs out of the recession brought on by the pandemic. 

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock prices were mostly higher Wednesday as investors looked ahead to U.S. data they worry will show inflation is picking up.

London and Frankfurt opened higher while Shanghai and Hong Kong also advanced. Tokyo declined.

Wall Street futures sank after the benchmark S&P 500 index on Tuesday lost 0.9% amid concern inflation might accelerate, hampering an economic recovery and dragging on share prices.

More U.S. inflation data were due out Wednesday. Investor concern is increasing after prices rose for industrial materials including copper and crude oil. 

“The source of the market’s angst is inflation, and whether it is transitory or here to stay,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.5% to 6,982.82 while the DAX in Frankfurt added 0.2% to 15,150.89. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced less than 0.1% to 6,267.93.

On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.4%.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 lost 0.9% and the Dow sank 1.4% in its worst day since February. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.1%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 3,462.75 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo tumbled 1.6% to 28,147.51. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.8% to 28,231.04.

The Kospi in Seoul fell 1.5% to 3,161.66 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney sank 0.7% to 7,044.90.

India’s Sensex opened down 0.8% at 7,044.90. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.

Big tech companies were among the biggest decliners Tuesday for a second day. Tech stocks get most of their valuation from future profits. Those might be less valuable if they are eroded by inflation.

Investors have worried about inflation since bond yields spiked earlier this year, though yields have mostly stabilized since then. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held edged up to 1.62% Wednesday from 1.61% on Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve has said the U.S. economy will be allowed to “run hot” to ensure a recovery is established. Despite that, investors worry central banks might feel pressure to pull back stimulus and raise near-zero interest rates.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 31 cents to $65.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 36 cents on Tuesday to $65.28. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 30 cents to $68.85 per barrel in London. It rose 23 cents the previous session to $68.55.

The dollar gained to 108.75 yen from Tuesday’s 108.65. The euro fell to $1.2136 from $1.2152.

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