Stocks on Wall Street dropped for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as new data on consumer prices added to investors’ concerns that inflation could upend the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep interest rates low to bolster the economy.
The S&P 500 fell 2.1 percent, pushing its losses this week to 4 percent. It was the benchmark index’s worst day since February and its worst three-day performance since October.
The drop came after the Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index climbed 4.2 percent during the month, from a year earlier, the fastest pace of increase since 2008. From March to April, prices increased 0.8 percent.
Analysts had been expecting a high annual increase, given the comparison to last April, when the economy was cratering amid the early stages of the Covid crisis and price growth slowed to a crawl. But the report still caught them off guard.
“While the high levels were expected, not many…