New York: Wall Street ended lower on Friday as investors weighed signs of higher inflation, while Apple Inc tumbled following an unfavorable court ruling related to its app store.
US producer prices rose solidly in August, leading to the biggest annual gain in nearly 11 years and indicating that high inflation was likely to persist as the pandemic pressures supply chains, data showed.
Sentiment also took a hit from Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester’s comments that she would still like the central bank to begin tapering asset purchases this year despite the weak August jobs report.
The S&P 500 has risen about 19 per cent in 2021, buoyed by support from dovish central bank policies and re-opening optimism.
However, Wall Street has moved sideways in recent sessions as investor digest indications of increased inflation and concerns about the Delta variant’s impact on the economic recovery. Investors are also uncertain about when the Federal Reserve may begin reducing massive measures enacted last year to shield the economy from the pandemic.
“The market is taking a breather,” said Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments. “Investors are looking for some outsized news or information that is beyond the band of expectations, something much more outsized, positively or negatively, that will give investors better visibility into how things are going to look for the balance of the year.” Apple tumbled after a judge struck down a core part of its App Store rules, benefiting app makers.
Shares of app makers rallied, with Spotify Technology , Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts all gaining.
The three main U.S. indexes got some support early from news of a phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping that was taken as a positive sign, which could bring a thaw in ties between the world’s two most important trading partners.
Most of the eleven S&P 500 sector indexes fell, with technology and healthcare among the weakest.
U.S.-listed Didi Global dropped after Chinese government officials told leading delivery and ride-hailing companies to improve how they distributed incomes and ensure rest periods for workers.
Court orders Apple to ease restrictions on App developers
A federal judge Friday struck a serious blow to Apple’s control of its app store, giving companies a way to avoid handing Apple a cut of their app sales and potentially upending a $100 billion online market.
The decision was a major setback for Apple, which counts on revenue from its app store to fuel its expansive profits. It was the latest but potentially most damaging loss for the company, which is facing increasingly pointed questions from regulators and politicians around the world about its business.
Over the last month, regulators in Japan and South Korea have forced Apple to tweak how it manages the app store. In the United States, the Department of Justice has opened an antitrust investigation into the business.