Stocks plunged on Thursday as recession fears continued to weigh on markets and investors nervously looked ahead to a closely-watched consumer price index reading due Friday, with ongoing concern that inflation could come in higher than expected.
Stocks fell for a second day in a row: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.9%, over 600 points, while the S&P 500 dropped 2.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 2.7%.
Markets began to move lower early in the day after weekly jobless claims hit 229,000—the highest level since January, though continuing claims were unchanged at 1.3 million, signaling that companies are still hiring despite recession fears.
Investor sentiment also took a hit from ongoing concerns about Friday’s consumer price index report, amid expectations that inflation will grow 8.4% from a year ago (compared to 8.3% in April and 8.5% in March).
Stocks are tanking thanks to “growing nervousness that tomorrow’s CPI data will clearly show inflation isn’t near peaking,” says Oanda senior market analyst Edward Moya, who adds, “warning signs about the economy are emerging as weekly jobless claims are starting to rise .”
Casino stocks and tech stocks were among the market’s biggest decliners on Thursday: Shares of Las Vegas Sands fell over 5%, while tech giants Meta and Amazon dropped 6% and 4%, respectively.
Shares of electric-vehicle maker Tesla, meanwhile, fell 1% despite analysts at UBS upgrading the stock to a “buy” rating and predicting upside of more than 50% thanks to the company’s long-term growth prospects.