Stocks decline sharply on Wednesday with most sectors seeing red.
U.S. stocks fell hard in midweek trading, as tech shares and financials companies led a brisk selloff on Wall Street.
All major stock indices finished with heavy losses. The S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) declined 0.8% to close at 2,701.58. Nine of 11 primary sectors finished lower, with financials and information technology leading the market lower.
With tech shares plunging, the Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) closed down 0.9% at 7,136.40.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) lost 205.45 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 25,081.04.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) rose sharply on Wednesday and was back above the historic average. The so-called “fear index” climbed 4% to 20.81 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 reflects the historic mean. VIX touched a session high of 22.36.
In economic data, U.S. consumer inflation rose as expected last month, giving the Federal Reserve the justification it needs to continue normalizing monetary policy.
The October consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.3%, according to the Department of Commerce. Compared to a year earlier, CPI advanced 2.5%, up from 2.3% in September. So-called core inflation, which strips away volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.2% on month and 2.1% yearly.
The Final Word: Stocks remain under pressure by rising interest rates, economic uncertainty and political turmoil involving China and Saudi Arabia. The recent collapse in energy prices has made matters worse, as crude oil entered a protracted bear market.