Stocks fall on Wall Street as crude oil prices climb again





NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Wednesday, giving back nearly all of the gains they made a day earlier, as crude oil prices rose sharply again. The S&P 500 lost 1.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.3% and the Nasdaq fell 1.3%.

Technology, health care and financial stocks were among the biggest losers. Retailers and communications companies also lost ground. Energy stocks rose along with crude oil prices. Bond yields eased back. U.S. President Joe Biden headed to Europe for an emergency NATO meeting Thursday, where sanctions and the Russian oil embargo will likely top the agenda.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Stocks fell in afternoon trading on Wall Street Wednesday, giving back some of the gains they made a day earlier, as crude oil prices rise sharply again.

The S&P 500 fell 1% as of 2:12 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 370 points, or 1.1%, to 34,436 and the Nasdaq fell 1.1%.

The losses were broad, with technology, health care and financial stocks among the biggest weights on the benchmark S&P 500 index. Microsoft fell 1.1% and Abbott Laboratories slid 3.5%. Retailers and communications companies also lost ground.

Energy stocks rose as crude oil prices climbed more than 4%. Hess rose 2.8%.

Concerns on Wall Street about persistently high inflation have been elevated since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent energy and other commodity prices even higher. Crude oil prices have been volatile over concerns that the conflict will exacerbate an already tight market. The fluctuation in prices has been pushing and pulling the broader stock market.

Energy prices will likely remain volatile as the conflict continues. U.S. President Joe Biden is heading to Europe for an emergency NATO summit Thursday, where sanctions and the Russian oil embargo will likely top the agenda.

U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 4.1% to $113.75 per barrel, while a barrel of Brent crude, the international standard, rose 4.7% to $120.94. Prices are up more than 50% in 2022 so far, raising concerns about the impact on a wide range of consumer goods and consumer spending overall.

Many of the higher costs incurred by businesses have been passed on to consumers and higher prices for food, clothing and other goods could lead them to cut spending, resulting in slower economic growth. Central banks have been reacting by raising interest rates to try and counter the impact from inflation.

The Federal Reserve has already announced a 0.25% increase for its benchmark interest rate and is prepared to act more aggressively if necessary.

Bond yields have been rising overall as the market prepares for higher interest rates, but they eased back Wednesday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.30% from 2.37% from Tuesday.

Investors are preparing for the latest round of corporate earnings as the quarter comes to a close. Some companies are already giving updates.

Adobe fell 10% after giving investors a disappointing financial forecast and warned that halting sales in Russia and Belarus will impact its revenue. Metal manufacturer Worthington Industries fell 15.5% after reporting disappointing fiscal third-quarter profits.