NEW YORK (CBS News) — U.S. stocks plunged on Monday, marking a second day of trading that generated steep declines, amid fears of rising inflation and potential rate increases by the Federal Reserve.
The two-day losing streak was sparked by a pickup in wages, which could usher in higher inflation. Average hourly earnings, which had been rising at a modest 2.5 percent in the recovery, increased by 2.9 percent from the year before, the Labor Department said on Friday.
The two-day slump has wiped out the stock market’s gains so far this year. Investors are concerned that the recent period of low inflation and low interest rates may be coming to an end. Higher borrowing costs could eat into corporate profits, while also slowing down the market for houses, cars and other items bought using credit.
Prior to Monday, the biggest one-day drop in the Dow was on September 29, 2008, when the index plunged 777.68 points, or about 7 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down nearly 1,200 points to 24,345.74.
The market is coming off its worst week in two years.
All this happening at the same time President Trump boasted that the economy is roaring under his presidency during remarks at an Ohio manufacturing company, linking economic gains to his policies and the tax cut legislation he signed into law.
“Your taxes are going way down. And right now, for the first time in a long time … factories are coming back, everything’s coming back,” Trump said as he touted jobs growth and increased investments in the US. “America is once again open for business.”
Trump has repeatedly touted stock market rallies throughout the 13 months of his presidency, but did not say anything about the downturn in the stock market.
The stock market dip follows months of record highs, but still leaves the Dow at a significantly higher level than it was when Trump took office.
As Trump spoke, televisions across the West Wing — including those tuned to Fox — showed the stunning side-by-side images of Trump touting a booming economy while the Dow plummeted.
One aide said it was jarring to watch the President’s speech cut off by Fox News, which broke in when the drop hit the 1,000 point-mark.
With a 1,175-point dive, the stock market on Monday delivered the largest single-day point drop in the market’s history.