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By Devik Jain and Amruta Khandekar
May 12 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Thursday, with growth stocks leading declines for a second straight session as investors worried that aggressive interest rate increases to curb decades-high inflation could tip the economy into recession.
Megacap stocks Meta Platforms FB.O, Microsoft Corp MSFT.O, Google-owner Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O, Apple Inc AAPL.O, Amazon.com AMZN.O and Tesla Inc TSLA.O slipped between 2% and 5.9%.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors declined in morning trade. Technology .SPLRCT and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD stocks fell 1.2% and 2.4%, respectively.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index .IXIC slumped more than 3% on Wednesday, after data showed U.S. consumer prices moderated in April but were likely to stay hot for a while and keep the Federal Reserve’s foot on the brakes to cool demand. nL2N2X315F
A Labor Department report on Thursday showed the producer price index (PPI) for final demand rose 0.5% in April, in line with expectations, compared with a 1.6% increase in March. nL2N2X32K3
“What we’re seeing is that inflation is starting to slow down but the velocity was not as fast as people had hoped. So I think markets are still scared about that,” said Gene Goldman, chief investment officer at Cetera Investment Management.
“There’s really a lot of uncertainty around the Fed right now. If they are too aggressive, that hurts economic growth, but (if) they’re too conservative, higher inflation hurts consumption, which also hurts growth.”
Growth stocks, which led Wall Street’s rally from the pandemic lows in 2020, have borne the brunt of a selloff this year as their returns and valuations are discounted more deeply when rates rise.
The S&P 500 growth index .IGX has dropped 26.8% so far this year, a much larger decline compared with a 9.1% fall in its value counterpart .IVX, which houses economy-sensitive sectors like banks, energy, and industrials.
Traders are pricing in a 61% chance of a 75 basis point hike by the Fed in June. IRPR
At 10:02 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 294.57 points, or 0.93%, at 31,539.54, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 53.09 points, or 1.35%, at 3,882.09, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 193.70 points, or 1.70%, at 11,170.53.
Among other stocks, Walt Disney Co DIS.N slid 3.9% after the entertainment giant’s second-quarter revenue and profit fell short of estimates and it cautioned that supply chain disruptions and rising wages could pressure finances. nL3N2X33M2
Plant-based protein maker Beyond Meat Inc BYND.O was last down 1% after breaking below its IPO price of $25 at the open as quarterly losses ballooned. nL3N2X33M7
Tapestry TPR.N climbed 10.6% after the Kate Spade owner said it was confident that demand for its luxury bags and apparel in China would recover after the key growth market lifts COVID-19 curbs. nL3N2X42R4
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.67-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.96-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week highs and 72 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 1,243 new lows.
(Reporting by Devik Jain and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)