March 23 (UPI) — U.S. stocks declined Wednesday in a see-saw week as a renewed surge in oil prices prompted concerns about inflation among investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 448.96 points, or 1.29%, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.23% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.32%.
Investors on Wednesday reacted to U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rising about 5% to nearly $115 per barrel, while Brent crude — the international benchmark — also gained 5% to hit $121 per barrel.
Energy stocks climbed behind the rising oil prices as Hess gained 4.59% and Diamondback Energy climbed 3.85%
Markets have also been reacting to comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday as he said that inflation is “much too high” and the central bank will pursue aggressive policy moves to combat it.
“My belief going in, prior to [Monday] had been that the Federal Reserve truly in their heart of hearts believed that inflation is transitory in nature and we will see it come down over the summer,” Jeff Lingelhofer, Thornburg Investment Management co-head of investments, told Yahoo Finance Live. “What we saw from Jerome Powell is that his confidence is shaken.”
Treasury yields have been on the rise since Powell’s comments, with the 10-year yield exceeding 2.41% at its session high, its highest since May 2019.
General Mills stock rose 2.49% after it reported quarterly earnings that exceeded expectations, while shares of Adobe fell 9.34% after failing to meet profit and revenue expectations.