The Dow plunged nearly 200 points today as markets were swamped by soaring oil prices and inflation fears. "All the long-term indicators we look at are sending a bearish message," an investment researcher told the Wall Street Journal. The Dow ended down 199.48 to 12,828.68, the Nasdaq down 23.83 to 2,492.26, and the S&P down 13.23 to 1,413.40.
Traders are concerned that a once-promising spring rally seems to be evaporating, the Journal adds. Meanwhile, the Labor Department's producer price index—or "core index"—increased at twice the expected rate in April. This could mean tighter profit margins for companies, says the director of one research firm.