Stocks fall as inflation slow down sparks tapering fears

Apple unveiled iPhone 13

U.S. stock indexes were pressured Tuesday as a report showed consumer price gains slowed in August, spotlighting the possibility the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its asset-purchase program later this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 291 points, or 0.83%, while the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index declined 0.57% and 0.45%, respectively. The modest losses come after the Dow opened with a 121-point gain a day after snapping its five-day losing streak. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34793.19 +28.37 +0.08%
SP500 S&P 500 4453.1 +4.12 +0.09%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15029.859752 -22.38 -0.15%

The August consumer price index showed prices last month rose 5.3% annually, slowing from the 5.4% pace in July that matched the fastest growth in 13 years. Prices edged up 0.3% month over month. 

The report sparked investor concerns that the Fed could announce plans to scale back its asset purchases in an upcoming meeting.  

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After the report, the yield on the 10-year note fell five basis points to 1.28%.

In stocks, Apple Inc. unveiled its new iPhone 13 which has a state-of-the-art memory chip and updated camera, among other things. Updates to other products, like the iPad and Apple Watch, were also announced. Still, shares closed with losses. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE, INC. 147.01 +0.18 +0.13%

Amazon Inc. raised its average starting pay to $18 per hour and said it would hire 125,000 warehouse and transportation workers in the U.S.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,406.34 -9.65 -0.28%

Oracle Corp. reported quarterly sales that fell short of Wall Street estimates as cloud revenue missed the mark. Current quarter earnings guidance was ahead of expectations while revenue guidance was a bit light.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ORCL ORACLE CORP. 89.99 +0.54 +0.60%

Casino stocks including Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. were on track for their biggest daily percentage drops in over a year after Macau said it would tighten restrictions on the gaming industry. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MGM MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL 44.45 -0.01 -0.01%
WYNN WYNN RESORTS LTD. 82.47 -1.36 -1.62%
LVS LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP. 36.85 -0.43 -1.15%

Oil stocks, which were the top performers Monday, slid as West Texas Intermediate crude ticked up 1 cent to a six-week high of $70.46 a barrel as Hurricane Nicholas made landfall in Texas. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 57.63 +0.54 +0.95%
HAL HALLIBURTON CO. 21.09 +0.30 +1.44%
KMI KINDER MORGAN, INC. 16.57 +0.10 +0.58%

Elsewhere in commodities, gold climbed $12.70 to $1,804.70 an ounce. 

Overseas markets traded mixed. 

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European bourses were choppy with France’s CAC 40 sliding 0.36%, Britain’s FTSE 100 losing 0.49% and Germany’s DAX 30 ticking higher by 0.14%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 0.73% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and China’s Shanghai Composite declined 1.21% and 1.42%, respectively, after developer China Evergrande reiterated concerns it could default on its debt.