Oil, Fed Leave No Grins, Just Bears
Fed minutes confirm expectations of higer inflation, slower growth
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2008 3:37 PM CDT
Mahesa Kumar pumps gas in Portland, Ore., after changing the price of premium gasoline to just over $4 a gallon on their marquis Wednesday, May 21, 2008.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
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(Newser) – Oil prices kept on pummeling the markets today, and minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting confirmed warnings of higher inflation and lower growth—signaling a pause in rate cuts. "The rise in energy products is going to be the knell for consumer spending," one analyst tells the Wall Street Journal. The Dow ended down 227.49 to 12,601.19, the Nasdaq fell 43.99 to 2,448.27, and the S&P dropped 22.69 to 1,390.71.

The only gainers in the Dow were oil giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil, the Journal adds. Analysts fear that if prices keep rising, consumer spending won't be able to stave off recession. "The stock market has sort of been in denial about this until now. I mean, these prices are punitive," says hedge-fund chief Douglas Kass.