Major indices on Wall Street take a hammering

The Nasdaq tumbled more than four percent as Wall Street equities endured another battering on Monday amid worries over inflation, rising interest rates and a slowing economy.

All three major indices were pummelled in another ugly trading session, with the Dow Jones falling two percent, or more than 650 points, to 32,245.

The S&P 500 slid 3.2 percent to 3,991, its first close under 4,000 points since March 2021.

The Nasdaq was the biggest loser, dropping 4.3 percent to 11,623.

Stocks have been under pressure for much of 2022, with the latest round of weakness sparked by last week’s Federal Reserve meeting, when policymakers announced the biggest interest rate hike since 2000 and signalled more aggressive tightening ahead.

Markets are also edgy over supply chain problems due to China’s Covid-19 lockdowns and the upheaval from the Russian assault on Ukraine.

And investors are girding for another ugly US consumer price report later this week.

“Investors still aren’t ready to buy the dip,” said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services. “There is zero confidence it’s going to shift anytime soon, and it isn’t clear what the catalyst could be to turn things around.”

Ten of the 11 sectors in the S&P 500 finished lower, with only the consumer staples group mustering a tiny gain.

Large tech names continued to retreat with Amazon losing 5.2 percent and Netflix falling 4.4 percent.

Petroleum-linked companies, which have generally outperformed the market in 2022, also had a bad day. ConocoPhillips lost nearly 10 percent while Chevron tumbled 6.7 percent.

Rivian Automotive plunged more than 20 percent following a report that Ford will unload eight million shares of the electric truck maker.

But Philip Morris International gained 0.9 percent after it confirmed it was in talks to acquire Swedish Match in a deal that would boost its smokeless offerings. Both companies cautioned that a deal was not certain. (AFP)