On Wednesday, the Labor Department released its newest consumer price index, and speculation that inflation had peaked earlier this year quickly faded away (CPI). Moreover, the statistics revealed that prices continued to rise in November.
CPI rose 8.6 percent year-over-year in May, the largest rate since December 1981. Annual rises in petrol costs (+10.3 percent) and groceries (+11.9 percent) were the most eye-popping examples of the strong surge in consumer inflation. In contrast to the 0.3% increase in prices in April, the consumer price index increased by 1% month-over-month in May. Both numbers were higher than expected by economists.
The research found that 46 percent of respondents cited inflation as the reason for their pessimism about the economy, a 38 percent increase from the previous month.
According to Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at independent broker-dealer LPL Financial, “the collapse in mood suggests that consumers are more apprehensive about future economic situations. “We need to pay attention to what our customers say, but we also need to pay attention to what they do. Inflation and uncertainty are weighing hard on consumer morale, so we do anticipate spending to go down.”
Wall Street reacted angrily to the news. Consumer discretionary (down 4.0 percent) and technology (down 3.8 percent) took the largest hits out of the 11 categories that were in the black at year’s end.
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In terms of the main indices, the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.5%, the S&P 500 Index dropped 2.9%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 2.7%.
Today’s other stock market developments:
In the Russell 2000 small-cap stock index, stocks dropped 2.7% to 1,800 points. Crude oil futures for the United States fell by 0.7 percent to $120.67 a barrel.
As a result, the price of an ounce of gold ended the day up 1.2%.
The price of Bitcoin fell by 3.4 percent to $28,966.18. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; the prices given here are as of 4 p.m., which is when the market closes for the day.)
Stocks of Netflix ( NASDAQ: NFLX) and Roblox fell sharply today after Goldman Sachs downgraded them to Sell from Hold. While RBLX is currently the best-positioned firm in the gaming/interactive sector for long-term growth potential, “we have rising concerns regarding the post-pandemic environment and foresee a continuation of slowing growth, harsh comps, and normalization of margins in the short term,” they say.
Following DocuSign’s (DOCU) quarterly results announcement, the e-signature company’s stock dropped 24.5 percent. DOCU announced adjusted profits per share of 38 cents on sales of $588.7 million for the first quarter of the fiscal year. Earnings of 38 cents per share were expected on sales of $581.8 million, on average, by analysts. After previously forecasting a 15 percent increase at the midpoint, the business now expects full-year billings growth of 7 to 8 percent instead.
UBS Global Research analyst Karl Keirstead says DocuSign lowered its revenue guidance because of macro headwinds (customers being cautious about volume expansions across all regions), high sales rep turnover, customers that are still digesting excess capacity (pandemic distortions are still playing out in stocks), and a fall-off in rate-sensitive loan/mortgage electronic signature volumes, which is affecting the financial/real estate verticals. “With a Neutral rating, we’ll stay out of the way.”