Inflation fears push S&P 500 to one-month low

People are seen on Wall St. outside the NYSE in New York
People are seen on Wall St. outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
  • Simon Property drops on bleak outlook
  • L Brands falls on plans to split into two public cos
  • Energy stocks fall as oil prices slide
  • Indexes down: Dow 1.29%, S&P 0.97%, Nasdaq 0.45%

May 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes fell for a second straight session and the S&P 500 hit a one-month low on Tuesday, as investors feared that rising inflation could push the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy faster than expected.

The outperformers of 2020, Apple (AAPL.O), Inc (AMZN.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Google-parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) fell between 0.8% and 2.4%, weighing the most on the benchmark index.

The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note ticked up to session high of 1.631% ahead of consumer price index report on Wednesday.

Investors have grown wary of fast price rises even though the central bank has repeatedly said it views any inflation that occurs to be transitory.

"There is a real debate on whether this increase in inflation is transitory, and how it's going to play through," said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse.

"There is a certain level of inflation that will make (markets) uncomfortable, even if the Fed doesn't respond."

Rapid vaccinations, massive fiscal and monetary support and a better-than-expected quarterly earnings season had lifted the S&P 500 and the Dow to record closing highs as early as Friday.

However, on Tuesday, the CBOE volatility index (.VIX) jumped to its highest in two months to 23 points and all major S&P sectors moved to the red.

The energy index (.SPNY) saw the biggest slide of 1.9% due to weaker oil prices.

At 11:49 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was down 449.23 points, or 1.29%, at 34,293.59, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was down 40.71 points, or 0.97%, at 4,147.72. The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was down 60.18 points, or 0.45%, at 13,341.67.

Simon Property Group Inc (SPG.N) fell 3.4% after the U.S. mall operator said it does not expect a return to 2019 occupancy levels until next year or 2023, as it looks to play hardball in rent negotiations with tenants. read more

L Brands Inc (LB.N) fell 4.6% after the retailer said it will split into two publicly traded companies, Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret, deciding against a sale of its lingerie brand. read more

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 4.24-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.12-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 209 new lows.

Reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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