NEW YORK: Major Wall Street indices opened lower on Monday, with tech shares hit particularly hard as investors await the March report on US inflation amid expectations for aggressive Federal Reserve action.
Twitter bucked the trend as its stock price rose after controversial Tesla chief Elon Musk announced he would not join its board after becoming the social media company’s largest shareholder.
The government is set to release the consumer price index reading for March on Tuesday, after inflation rose 7.9 percent over the 12 months to February, a multi-decade high.
Accelerating prices have prompted a series of Federal Reserve officials to signal plans to increase interest rates quickly to tamp down inflation fears.
Positive vibes on stock markets “may be getting stymied by looming March inflation reports, set to begin tomorrow, which will come amid elevated expectations the Fed is set to get aggressive with its monetary policy tightening campaign,” analysts at Charles Schwab investment bank said.
And “the ongoing war in Ukraine remains a source of skittishness.”
About 35 minutes into the first trading day of a holiday-shortened week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2 percent to 34,662.20, and the broad-based S&P 500 had fallen 0.8 percent to 4,454.21.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1.1 percent to 13,564.48.
Twitter shares jumped 2.2 percent, but other major names lost ground, including Facebook-parent Meta and Google-parent Alphabet, both of which lost around one percent.
Investors this week also will be watching the start of the first-quarter earnings season, with reports from JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other large banks.