Technology companies on Thursday led a sell-off on Wall Street that pulled the major indexes into the red for the week.
The S&P 500 fell 1.4 percent after shedding an early gain of 0.4 percent. The benchmark index was coming off two days of gains following daily losses since the first day of trading in 2022. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 2.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5 percent.
The selling came as investors gauged company earnings reports and new data pointing to rising prices at the wholesale level. Inflation has been a key focus for investors as they try to gauge how rising prices will impact businesses, consumers and the Federal Reserve's policy on interest rates in 2022.
The S&P 500 fell 67.32 points to 4,659.03, while the Dow slid 176.70 points to 36,113.62. The Nasdaq lost 381.58 points to 14,806.81. The three indexes are each on pace for another weekly loss.
Smaller company stocks also fell. The Russell 2000 slid 16.62 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,159.44.
Bond yields mostly edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.70 percent from 1.73 percent from late Wednesday.
The Labor Department on Thursday reported its producer price index, which measures prices at the wholesale level, surged by a record 9.7 percent for all of 2021. The increase set an annual record and provides further evidence inflation is still present at all levels of the U.S. economy. The report follows Wednesday's release of consumer price data for December, which showed that inflation jumped at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month.
"The producer price index figures came in a little bit better than expected, but still very high, and as a result they were disconcerting to investors," Stovall said.
Wall Street has been closely watching rising inflation to gauge the impact on businesses and consumers, as well as on the Fed's plan to trim its support for the economy and markets. The central bank is reducing bond purchases that helped keep interest rates low throughout the virus pandemic. Earlier this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell told Congress that the central bank stands ready to raise rates to fight inflation.
Big technology stocks, which have an outsized influence on the S&P 500 because of their high valuations, accounted for a big share of the decline Thursday. The sector has been slipping in January as investors shift money in anticipation of rising interest rates, which tend to make pricey tech stocks less attractive.