Stocks Fall Amid Concerns Over Greek Economy/April Consumer Prices Meet Expectations
U.S. stocks on Friday fell amid concerns over the financial situation of Greece and its prospects of future economic growth. This concern also affected Eurozone stocks as they fell after the European Union said that debt loads in Greece, Portugal, and Ireland might be larger than had been originally expected. European officials also stated that Greece must endure bigger spending cuts in order to attain economic stability. The DJIA fell 140 points, in excess of a 1% decline. The S&P 500 fell by 1% and the NASDAQ fell by 1.2%. These were the lowest readings of these indices for the week. The Euro fell to its lowest level since April 1st, with the EUR/USD dipping below $1.41 from $1.4239 on Thursday. Investors flocked to a safer U.S. investment as the U.S. Dollar Index rose 0.8% and the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 3.1575%, demonstrating increased demand for Treasuries. Gold and crude oil futures fell with crude oil dropping below $98 a barrel. Friday’s biggest declines in equities came from the financial and technology sectors.
The Labor Department released April’s consumer price data, which met analyst expectations with a rise of 0.4%. Much of this rise came from rising food and energy prices. Taking food and energy prices out of the equation, prices rose by 0.2%. April’s consumer price data reflects increased U.S. consumer confidence. Consumer prices have risen by 3.2% over the past year, the biggest 12-month rise since October 2008. Prices of commodities such as coffee, oil, and cattle have seen a 10% jump for the year. Companies that make household products have raised prices due to the increase in commodities prices, putting an extra strain on the wallet of the American consumer when prices at the gas pump continue to take a toll on family expenses. Despite the rise in prices, the Federal Reserve maintains that prices remain below the normal rate of inflation.
Article submitted by: Shaun Hoyes of the Capital Markets Lab. To learn more about the Capital Markets Lab please visit https://business.fiu.edu/capital-markets-lab/.