S&P 500 ends below 4,000, Nasdaq sheds nearly 4.3 pct

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NEW YORK, May 9 (Xinhua) — U.S. stocks fell noticeably on Monday as investors continued to dump risk assets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 653.67 points, or 1.99 percent, to 32,245.70. The S&P 500 lost 132.10 points, or 3.20 percent, to end at 3,991.24, marking the first time for the index to fall below the 4,000 threshold in more than a year. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 521.41 points, or 4.29 percent, to 11,623.25.

Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with energy and real estate down 8.3 percent and 4.62 percent, respectively, leading the laggards. Consumer staples rose 0.05 percent, the lone gaining group.

The market weakness came as investors grew concerned over how much the Federal Reserve will have to boost rates to tame inflation.

Last week, the Fed hiked U.S. interest rates by 50 basis points, the largest move in over 20 years, and signaled that half-point rises remain on the table for the next couple of meetings.

Analysts cautioned that investors need to be prepared for continued volatility.

“Sentiment is bearish but not at capitulation levels, market liquidity is poor which leads to greater volatility, and investors are pulling money out of equity and bond funds rather than putting it in,” Solita Marcelli, chief investment officer for the Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a note.

“These technical factors can dominate economic news over a few weeks or couple of months, and it will probably take that long for inflation improvement to become apparent,” Marcelli added.

For the week ending Friday, the Dow fell 0.24 percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 0.21 percent and 1.54 percent, respectively.