Dow tumbles 267 points as investors mull disappointing housing data and rising inflation

Dow tumbles 267 points as investors mull disappointing housing data and rising inflation
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  • US stocks closed lower Tuesday as investors mulled disappointing housing data and rising inflation.
  • Housing starts in April came in weaker than expected amid rising home prices.
  • Bitcoin continued its fall, sliding below the $42,500 level.

US stocks closed lower Tuesday as investors mulled disappointing housing data and rising inflation.

New housing starts slid 9.5% in April to an annualized rate of 1.57 million units, the Census Bureau said Tuesday, well below the median estimate of a 1.7 million pace from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. March's huge upswing was revised slightly lower to a rate of 1.73 million.

This month's reading erases much of the sharp improvement seen through March and suggests contractors' efforts to shore up supply are hitting snags.

"Strong demand, a need for inventory, and homebuilder optimism will support housing starts over the rest of 2021, while record-high lumber prices and supply chain bottlenecks may act as headwinds," Nancy Vanden Houten, lead US economist at Oxford Economics, said in a note.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Tuesday.


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As for increasing inflation, it mostly reflects the supply-demand imbalances related to economic reopening so far, Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio Strategist at New York Life Investments, said in a statement.

As long as this is the case, the Federal Reserve, she said, will be hesitant to change its course.

"If inflation expectations rise and stay above the Fed's inflation goals, the potential for an earlier policy rate liftoff would rise," Goodwin said. "For this to happen, we would likely see higher margins driven by reopening, sustaining those higher margins for a few months, and wage growth to follow."

Tuesday's losing session followed a US stocks sell-off on Monday led by technology stocks. Investors weighed rising inflation fears and an uptick in COVID-19 cases outside of the US.


MGM Resorts climbed as much as 5% after JPMorgan outlined its newly bullish view on its shares, saying a price pullback and reinvigorated activity in Las Vegas warranted a ratings upgrade to overweight.

Walmart climbed 4% at intraday highs after the company reported strong quarterly sales growth and boosted its profit outlook in its first-quarter earnings release.

AMC Entertainment extended its eight-day winning streak to 66%, the longest positive stretch in nearly three years. The surge in buying comes as Reddit chatter surrounding the so-called meme stock gathers steam.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued its slide, falling as much as 5.3%, to $42,429.88.

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Technical analyst Katie Stockton of Fairlead Strategies the cryptocurrency is off as much as 33% from its record high reached last month. The decline was in part sparked by Elon Musk's surprising reversal that Tesla would no longer accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

Michael Saylor's MicroStrategy took advantage of the dip by purchasing another $10 million worth of bitcoin at an average price of around $43,663. Saylor's firm now owns roughly 92,079 bitcoins.

Oil prices slid. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 3.3%, to $64.11 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, declined 3.1%, to $67.28 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold was flat at $1,868.77 per ounce, edging lower from a three-month high.