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U.S. stocks ended sharply lower Wednesday (Oct. 5), with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index tumbling to their worst levels in three months, as concern about inflation, the prospect of higher interest rates and slowing economic growth took the shine off a fresh pullback in crude oil prices.
According to CBS Marketwatch, the Dow industrials closed down 123.75 points, or 1.2% at 10,317.36. The benchmark index has now fallen three days in a row, with Wednesday’s session marking its biggest one-day decline since June 24.
“All sectors are getting hit because of inflation fears and the ominous tones coming out of the Fed,” said James Park, director of institutional trading at Rodman & Renshaw.
The S&P 500 Index dropped 18.08 points to 1,196.39, the first time the broad gauge has ended below the psychologically key 1,200 mark since July 8. Nasdaq fell 36.34 points to 2,103.02, its biggest one-day decline in nearly six months.
Some RV stocks were caught in the market’s undertow. Winnebago Industries Inc. fell $1.38 to $27.58, Thor Industries Inc. lost $1.22 to finish at $32.82, and Skyline Corp. was down $2.62 to $37.98.
On Tuesday, three regional bank presidents of the Federal Reserve warned that the central bank is likely to continue raising short-term interest rates to keep inflationary pressures in the economy at bay.
Sentiment took a further knock after a report showing a sharp slowdown in growth and a pickup in inflation in the service sector.
Crude futures ended lower for the fourth session in a row, as the latest Energy Department report showed a sixth weekly drop in inventories, but also a drop in demand for oil and refined products brought on by higher prices. Crude for November delivery ended down $1.11, or 1.7% at $62.79 a barrel.