Stocks fall as CPI data hints at steep Fed rate hike

STORY: Stocks ended lower on Wednesday but off session lows as investors digested worse-than-expected inflation data.

The Labor Department's consumer price index jumped 9.1% in June, the highest rate in more than four decades... fueling fears that the Federal Reserve could super-charge its fight against inflation by raising interest rates by as much as 100 basis points later this month.

The Dow lost about two thirds of a percent. The S&P 500 fell nearly half a percent and the Nasdaq ended down fractionally.

Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management, said the chances of a full percent hike by the Fed was unlikely.

"A 100-basis-point increase in the Fed funds rate for the next upcoming meeting would show that the Fed is absolutely committed to staying ahead of inflation. The chances that they do that is probably not very good, even though betting odds are showing there's a shift this morning because of the hot CPI report. But that being said, I think that the Federal Reserve is going to maintain a fair, consistent and a communicative approach which is just measured. So I think 75 basis points is probably the best bet with the Fed's going to do in the next meeting.

Shares of Delta Air Lines slid after its second-quarter earnings missed expectations, although CEO Ed Bastian said strong travel demand will result in "meaningful" full-year profit.

Shares of Amazon and Tesla posted gains while other megacap growth stocks, including Alphabet, lost ground.

And shares of Twitter jumped almost 8% after Hindenburg Research said it had taken a significant long position in the stock, a day after the social media firm sued Elon Musk for backing out of his $44 billion deal to buy the company.

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