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Stock market jitters

Marketplace Staff May 23, 2006
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SCOTT JAGOW: Stock markets all over the world are trying to catch their breath today after a rough 24 hours. Markets in Russia, India and Latin America tanked. And then again today in Asia, more sell-offs. Japan’s Nikkei had its lowest close in three months. Everybody’s worried about interest rates, especially in the United States.

Which brings us to Wall Street, the origin of a lot of these jitters. Couple weeks ago, the Dow was headed for a new all-time high. But now, it too is going in the other direction. Here’s Marketplace Business Editor Cheryl Glaser.


CHERYL GLASER: Wall Street’s been hit with a double-whammy. Just when investors thought the Federal Reserve might be done raising interest rates, the central bank said it could hike rates again if inflation heats up.

Then last week new numbers found inflation has jumped more than 5 percent so far this year. Now some investors worry the Fed will raise rates too high and derail the economy. All of that means the stock market doesn’t look as safe as it used to, says Ed Yardeni, investment strategist with Oak Associates:

ED YARDENI: All kinds of investors and speculators and hedge funds have been viewing this environment as one of a very low-risk, one-way bet-you can only make money. And I think the past week or so has demonstrated that there is risk, there is downside, and if you’ve made a lot of money, you may want to cash out.

Some analysts say the market could be headed for more rough water, due to questions about the Fed, rising tensions with Iran, and Congressional elections being held next fall.

I’m Cheryl Glaser for Marketplace.

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