Tech Stocks Lead Indexes Lower

(AP) -- Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday and bond yields rose as investors try to estimate how quickly the Federal Reserve will move to pull back on its support for the economy and switch to fighting inflation.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2% as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 247 points, or 0.7%, to 34,387 and the Nasdaq fell 2.3%.

Technology companies has some of the biggest losses, which weighed heavily on the broader market. Apple fell 2% and Microsoft shed 2.7%.

Communications companies, retailers and others that rely on direct consumer spending also fell. Amazon slipped 3.1% and Facebook parent Meta fell 3.3%.

Bond yields rose sharply again. The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped to 2.61% from 2.54%.

The latest action in the stock and bond markets was prompted by comments on Tuesday by a Federal Reserve governor that fueled expectations for a more aggressive approach by the central bank to help tame surging inflation. The Fed has already started raising its benchmark interest rate and is expected to continue hikes throughout the year.

Investors will be looking closely at minutes released later in the day from the Fed's latest policy meeting for more clues about its next steps. Traders are pricing in a nearly 77% probability the Fed will raise its key overnight rate by half a percentage point at its next meeting in May. That's double the usual amount and something the Fed hasn't done since 2000.

Inflation is running at a four-decade high and threatens to crimp economic growth. Higher prices on everything from food to clothing have raised concerns that consumers will eventually pull back on spending. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has added to those worries pushing energy and commodity prices, including wheat, even higher.

Crude oil prices were relatively stable on Wednesday, but are up roughly 35% for the year. That has pushed gasoline prices higher, putting more stress on shipping costs, prices for goods and consumers' wallets.

The conflict in Ukraine continued prompting financial pressure against Russia. The White House said Western governments will ban new investmen t in Russia following evidence its soldiers deliberately killed civilians in Ukraine. The U.S. Treasury said President Vladimir Putin's government will be blocked from paying debts with dollars from American financial institutions, potentially increasing the risk of a default.

European governments have resisted appeals to boycott Russian gas, Putin's biggest export earner, due to the possible impact on their economies.

It's been a mostly quiet day for corporate news, so far, ahead of the latest round of corporate earnings. JetBlue Airways fell 7.3% after offering to buy rival budget airline Spirit for $3.6 billion and break up a plan for Spirit to merge with Frontier Airlines. Spirit fell 3.1%.