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Stock markets fall to lowest levels of 2022 on inflation, COVID worries – CBS News

The Dow fell 654 points, or nearly 2%, to close at 32,246.

Most of the damage has been the result of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive pivot from doing everything it can to prop up financial markets and the economy to trying to aggressively tame inflation.

In the meantime, higher rates discourage investors from paying very high prices for investments, because investors can get more than before from owning super-safe Treasury bonds instead.

Worries about China, the world’s second-largest economy, also weighed on investors.

Authorities in Shanghai have again tightened restrictions, amid citizen complaints the lockdown feels endless — just as the city was emerging from a month of strict lockdown after an outbreak.

The number of companies citing “weak demand” in their earnings calls jumped to the highest level since the second quarter of 2020, strategist Savita Subramanian wrote in a BofA Global Research report.

Many tech-oriented companies saw profits boom through the pandemic as people looked for new ways to work and entertain themselves while locked down at home.

crude fell to $102.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but is still up more than 40% this year.

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