Wall St down as US inflation lingers

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Wall Street has ended lower as investors assessed economic data and awaited a potential 50-basis point interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve at its policy meeting next week, while apparel company Lululemon slumped following a disappointing profit forecast.

US producer prices rose slightly more than expected in November amid a jump in the costs of services, but the trend is moderating, with annual inflation at the factory gate posting its smallest increase in 1-1/2 years, data showed.

“Today’s data shows that inflation is coming down, but it’s lingering and is stickier than most assume,” said Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Troy, Michigan.

However, in December, consumer sentiment improved, while inflation expectations eased to a 15-month low, a University of Michigan survey showed.

Futures trades suggest a 77 per cent chance the Fed will raise interest rates by 50 basis points next week, with a 23 per cent chance of a 75-basis point hike, with those odds little changed after Friday’s economic data.

Consumer prices data for November, due on Tuesday, will provide fresh clues on the central bank’s monetary tightening plans.

Lululemon Athletica Inc tumbled almost 13 per cent after the Canadian athletic apparel maker forecast lower-than-expected holiday-quarter revenue and profit.

Netflix Inc gained 3.1 per cent after Wells Fargo upgraded the video streaming giant to “overweight” from “equal weight”.

The S&P 500 declined 0.73 per cent to end the session at 3,934.38 points.

The Nasdaq declined 0.70 per cent to 11,004.62 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.90 per cent to 33,476.46 points.

Of the 11 S&P 500 sector indices, 10 declined, led lower by energy, down 2.33 per cent, followed by a 1.28 per cent loss in health care.

The energy index recorded a seventh straight session of losses, its longest losing streak since December 2018, as oil prices looked set for weekly losses on recession concerns.

Wall Street’s main indices have fallen this week after logging two straight weekly gains. Weighing heavily on investors are fears of a potential recession next year due to extended the central bank’s rate hikes.

For the week, the S&P 500 dropped 3.4 per cent, the Dow lost 2.8 per cent and the Nasdaq shed four per cent.

US stocks ended a recent run of losses on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims rose modestly last week.

Broadcom Inc jumped 2.6 per cent after the chipmaker forecast current-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates.

Boeing Co climbed 0.3 per cent after Reuters report the plane maker plans to announce a deal with United Airlines for orders of 787 Dreamliner next week.

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