Indexes Blunder on Inflation Concerns

Stocks fell on Friday as major U.S. banks kicked off the corporate earnings season while inflation and geopolitical concerns weighed on investors.

The Dow Jones Industrials swooned 291.63 points to start Friday at 38,167.45.

The much-broader index fell back 42.53 points to 5,156.57.

The NASDAQ fizzled 158.56 points, or 1%, to 16,283.64.

Week to date, the broad market index is down 0.7% and 30-stock Dow has dropped 1.7%. The tech-heavy NASDAQ has managed to buck the trend and is currently 0.4% higher for the week.

JPMorgan Chase shares declined more than 3% after the banking giant posted its first-quarter results. The bank said net interest income, a key measure of what it makes through lending activities, could be a little short of what Wall Street analysts are expecting in 2024. CEO Jamie Dimon also warned about persistent inflationary pressures weighing on the economy.

Wells Fargo slid around 1.1% after reporting its latest quarterly figures. Citigroup added more than 1% after posting a revenue beat.

Oil prices continued their rise on reports that Israel is preparing for a direct attack by Iran this weekend, in what would be the biggest escalation of tensions in the region since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war last October. U.S. crude was last at $87.05 a barrel.

That, coupled with fresh U.S. imports data, added fuel to inflation concerns that have put pressure on the market.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury rallied, lowering yields to 4.48% from Thursday’s 4.57%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up $2.28 to $87.30 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $49.20 to $2,421.90 U.S. an ounce.