Dow Drops 449 Points as Oil Rises Sharply

Brent crude was up nearly 5%
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 23, 2022 3:55 PM CDT
Stocks Fall as Oil Jumps More Than 4%
American flags fly outside the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Wednesday, giving back nearly all of the gains they made a day earlier, as crude oil prices rose sharply again. Technology, health care, and financial stocks were among the biggest losers. Retailers and communications companies also lost ground. The S&P 500 fell 55.37 points, or 1.2%, to 4,456.24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 448.96 points, or 1.3%, to 34,358.50. The Nasdaq fell 186.21 points, or 1.3%, to 13,922.60.

Energy stocks rose as crude oil prices climbed more than 4%. US benchmark crude oil rose 4.1% to $113.75 per barrel, while a barrel of Brent crude, the international standard, rose 4.7% to $120.94. Prices are up more than 50% in 2022 so far, raising concerns about the impact on a wide range of consumer goods and consumer spending overall, the AP reports. Concerns on Wall Street about persistently high inflation have been elevated since Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent energy and other commodity prices even higher. Crude oil prices have been volatile over concerns that the conflict will exacerbate an already tight market. The fluctuation in prices has been pushing and pulling the broader stock market.

Many of the higher costs incurred by businesses have been passed on to consumers and higher prices for food, clothing, and other goods could lead them to cut spending, resulting in slower economic growth. Investors are preparing for the latest round of corporate earnings as the quarter comes to a close. Some companies are already giving updates. Adobe fell 9.3% after giving investors a disappointing financial forecast and warned that halting sales in Russia and Belarus will impact its revenue. (Read more stock market stories.)

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