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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks mostly fell early Wednesday, extending the week’s choppy pattern as markets weigh a weakening global growth picture due to inflation concerns.

The OECD said global gross domestic product would grow by three percent in 2022 – down sharply from the 4.5 percent estimated in December as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine strains commodities markets.

The downgrade is similar to one released Tuesday by the World Bank.

Meanwhile, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed a drop in mortgage applications as higher interest rates weigh on the housing market.

“The purchase market has suffered from persistently low housing inventory and the jump in mortgage rates over the past two months,” said Joel Kan, a vice president in the group’s forecasting division. “These worsening affordability challenges have been particularly hard on prospective first-time buyers.”

US stocks fall on World Bank forecast, weak Target outlook

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 percent at 33,040.72.

The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.3 percent to 4,147.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was flat at 12,175.40.

Among individual companies, Novavax jumped 5.0 percent after a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended the company’s Covid-19 vaccine, a late runner in the fight against the virus.

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