Investing.com - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as markets continued to sell technology and small-cap stocks on sentiment that monetary stimulus tools are on their way out, while investors jumped to the sidelines to await fresh data on hopes the numberw will indicate if the effects of a rough winter are over.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 fell 0.61%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.47%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.72%.
On Thursday, the U.S. is to release data on initial jobless claims, consumer inflation, industrial production as well as a report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.
Investors hope the flurry of numbers will shed light on whether a more robut albeit a still stop-and-go recovery is due to a rough winter or true slowdown in demand.
Uncertainty ahead of time kept many on the sidelines despite upbeat wholesale pricing data.
The Commerce Department reported earlier that producer prices increased by 0.6% last month, beating forecasts for a 0.2% gain, after rising 0.5% in March.
Year-over-year, the producer price index rose 2.1% in April, beating expectations for a 1.7% increase and up from 1.4% in the preceding month.
The core producer price index advanced 0.5% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.2% increase, after rising 0.6% in March.
Core produces prices rose at an annualized rate of 1.9% in April, beating forecasts for a 1.4% gain and after climbing 1.4% in the preceding month.
The Federal Reserve views core prices as a better gauge of longer-term inflationary pressure because they exclude the volatile food and energy categories.
Elsewhere, investors continued to sell technology and small-cap equities, the beneficiaries of exceptionally loose monetary policies since the 2008 downtown.
The Federal Reserve is expected to wind up its monthly bond-buying program later this year.
Fed asset purchases boost stock prices by suppressing long-term interest rates, and investors sold stocks deemed frothy due to monetary support.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), up 1.10%, AT&T Inc (NYSE:T), up 0.54%, and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), up 0.45%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), down 1.83%, Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), down 1.41%, and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), down 1.40%.
European indices, meanwhile, largely lower.
After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.06%, France''s CAC 40 fell 0.09%, while Germany''s DAX fell 0.03%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.08%.