NEW YORK, New York - After a day of major gains, U.S. stock markets fell sharply Wednesday underscoring volatility as investors grapple with spiking interest rates, peaking inflation, fears of a looming recession, and geopolitical concerns.
"It's the continued kind of yin-and-yang, if you will, with, 'Which way are we going with the Fed?,'" Sal Bruno, CIO of IndexIQ told CNBC Wednesday. "We should expect a lot of choppiness."
Earnings also took center stage with concerns rising interest rates will start to bite. "This earnings season was subpar at best," Eric Sterner, CIO at Apollon Wealth Management told CNBC Wednesday. "It takes time for these rate hikes to affect earnings. Now, we're starting to see that."
Technology stocks were hit as Google-parent Alphabet lost $8.04 per share or 7.44 percent of its capitalization on the day due to concerns about emerging rivals such as ChatGPT and their potential impact on search platforms. Google has developed Bard which is being trialled, while Bing is also well advanced with improvising its existing search engine to incorporate the AI technology.
The Nasdaq Composite shed 203.27 points or 1.68 percent to 11,910.52.
The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 46.14 points or 1.11 percent to 4,117.86.
The Dow Jones industrials plummeted 207.68 points or 0.61 percent to 33,949.01.
On foreign exchange markets, the euro was soft towards the U.S. close Wednesday, last trading at 1.0713. The British pound was struggling around 1.2066. The Japanese yen was slightly firmer at 131.41. The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9209.
The Canadian dollar fell to 1.3447. The Australian dollar fell sharply to 0.6924. The New Zealand dollar eased to 0.6307.
Global stock markets outside the U.S. Wednesday saw mixed results as some indices ended in the green while others finished in the red.
In Europe, the ESTX 50 PR.EUR index closed at 4,209.15, down 0.16 points or 0.00 percent, while the Euronext 100 Index finished at 1,336.46, down 0.63 points or 0.05 percent. In Germany, the DAX Performance-Index ended at 15,412.05, up 91.17 points or 0.60 percent. Meanwhile, in France, the CAC 40 index closed at 7,119.83, down 12.52 points or 0.18 percent.
In Belgium, the BEL 20 index ended at 3,901.69, up 28.45 points or 0.73 percent. In Russia, the MOEX Russia Index finished the day at 2,222.51, down 4.14 points or 0.19 percent.
In London, the FTSE 100 index closed at 7,885.17, with a gain of 20.46 points, an increase of 0.26 percent.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index finished the day at 27,606.46, down 79.01 points or 0.29 percent.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ended at 21,283.52, down 15.18 points or 0.07 percent. On the mainland, Shanghai's SSE Composite Index closed at 3,232.11, down 15.99 points or 0.49 percent, while the Shenzhen Index finished at 11,853.46, down 73.42 points or 0.62 percent.
In Australia, the All Ordinaries index ended at 7,740.50, up 27.40 points or 0.36 percent, while the S&P/ASX 200 index ended at 7,530.10, up 26 points or 0.35 percent.
In South Africa, the Top 40 USD Net TRI Index closed at 4,472.57, down 10.26 points or 0.23 percent.
In Singapore, the STI Index finished at 3,388.52, up 7.68 points or 0.23 percent.
In India, the S&P BSE Sensex ended at 60,663.79, up 377.75 points or 0.63 percent.
In Indonesia, the IDX Composite finished at 6,940.12, up 4.82 points or 0.07 percent.
In Malaysia, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index closed at 1,470.75, down 5.63 points or 0.38 percent.
In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 Index Gross finished at 12,211.96, up 82.98 points or 0.68 percent. In South Korea, the KOSPI Composite Index ended at 2,483.64, for a gain of 31.93 points or 1.30 percent.