Wall Street ends week lower after inflation spike

US shares closed lower on Friday for the fourth straight day, with major indices posting losses for the week amid worries about a slowing recovery and rising prices.

While Wall Street equities remain near their all-time highs, investors are grappling with worries over the impact of the Delta variant of Covid-19 on economic activity and supply chains, as delays and shortages are pushing costs higher.

US wholesale prices posted another record increase in August, in the latest sign that increased demand coupled with supply and labour shortages were fuelling US inflation.

The producer price index (PPI) jumped 8.3 percent from August 2020, not seasonally adjusted, the biggest increase since the data was first collected in November 2010, according to a Labour Department report.

The Dow Jones dropped 0.8 percent to close the week at 34,607.

The S&P 500 fell 0.8 percent to end at 4,458, while the Nasdaq lost 0.9 percent to 15,115.

“This is part of a recent trend downward in the market, probably fuelled by the Delta variant and the potential for slowing,” said Jack Ablin of Cresset Capital.

Ablin said the PPI spike “shows a fair amount of pricing pressure. And I think that caused some concern among investors” as it could push the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy sooner.

“Nowadays, I think the inflation numbers… are even more important than the jobs readings.”

Shares of Apple fell 3.3 percent after a US judge’s ruling loosened the company’s control over app store payments, but did not find the tech giant’s dominance constituted an antitrust violation.

Epic launched the case aiming to break Apple’s grip on the app store, accusing the iPhone maker of acting like a monopoly in its shop for digital goods or services. Epic has vowed to appeal the ruling. (AFP)