Stock markets are falling as investors react to rising inflation

On Friday, the yield on the two-year Treasury jumped to 3.06 percent, up about a quarter of a point, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 3.16 percent, up about a tenth of a point.

Ultimately, for investors, the concern is how higher prices and increased borrowing costs will affect consumer spending and corporate profits. Absorbing costs would hurt the company’s profits, but passing them on could exacerbate problems in the economy, said Yong Yu Ma, senior investment analyst at BMO Wealth Management in the US.

“This is a very difficult moment,” said Mr. Ma. Most companies are unlikely to maintain their profit margins in the face of high energy costsHe said.
Stock market analysts were making what Mr. Ma described as “extremely optimistic” earnings forecasts, which, he said, will likely be revised in the coming months, and will eventually be reflected in lower stock prices.

This week, Target stock fell after that Lowering its earnings forecast For the second time in three weeks, inflation and changes in customer habits eroded its margins and left too much inventory unsold, which it said it would try to sell at a discount.

The S&P 500 is now 18.7 per cent down from its Jan. 3 record, putting it within reach of bear market territory – a 20 per cent drop from the high – signaling a dangerous shift in investor sentiment on Wall Street. The index briefly fell into a bearish area Last monthbefore recovering to close slightly above that psychologically important level.

Phil Orlando, chief equity analyst at Federated Hermes, an asset management firm, said in an interview that he expects the market to fall further, perhaps 10 percent below current levels over the summer. It prefers so-called value stocks, such as those in the energy, financial and health care industries, over growing stocks, such as technology companies, because they have cheaper valuations and more promise in this environment.

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