NEW YORK, June 11 — Wall Street’s main indexes declined today as caution dampened investor enthusiasm ahead of a crucial inflation reading and a policy announcement from the Federal Reserve expected this week.

Shares of Apple .1 per cent to hit a record high after declining in the previous session following its long-awaited AI strategy, presented at a developer conference.

However, major banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup and Bank of America dropped over 2 per cent, sending the broader banking index down to a seven-week low.

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted record closing highs on Monday in a choppy session, boosted by shares of Nvidia after its 10-for-one stock split.

Markets are readying for tomorrow’s release of the Consumer Price Index report for May and the conclusion of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting.

“There’s an abnormal amount of anxiety around these numbers and around the Fed meeting, particularly after the jobs report on Friday,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital LLC.

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The central bank is not expected to change rates but will release its updated economic projections and “dot plot”, which shows where policymakers expect interest rates to stand over the next few years and in the longer term.

The CPI numbers and the Fed’s projections will be scrutinized closely as recent reports have sent out conflicting signals on the economy’s underlying health.

“If they (Fed policymakers) take down growth a bit, then they will have cover to keep two dots on the dot plot, which would be very bullish for markets. So this trepidation you’re seeing is a fear of ‘what if that doesn’t happen’,” Hayes said.

Markets are pricing in a 54.4 per cent chance of the Fed’s first rate cut happening in September, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool. Rate futures also imply just one cut this year, compared to two before Friday’s bumper Nonfarm Payrolls data.

Other rate-sensitive growth stocks slipped, with Microsoft, Meta Platforms and Amazon.com falling between 0.4 per cent and 0.7 per cent, while Tesla dropped over 3 per cent to an over one-month low.

At 9.43am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 316.10 points, or 0.81 per cent, at 38,551.94, the S&P 500 was down 20.73 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 5,340.06, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 10.86 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 17,181.67.

Ten of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors declined, with energy, utilities and financials all losing over 1 per cent each. The small-caps Russell 2000 Index also dropped 1 per cent.

Prison operators CoreCivic and Target Hospitality slumped 23.2 per cent and 37.1 per cent, respectively, after the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it would close a detention center in Texas.

Cryptocurrency-linked stocks slipped as bitcoin slid 3.8 per cent, with bitcoin miners Riot Platforms and Marathon Digital and crypto exchange Coinbase falling between 5.7 per cent and 8.8 per cent.

General Motors gained nearly 1 per cent after the automaker announced a US$6 billion share buyback plan.

Cleveland-Cliffs dropped 2.75 per cent after brokerage JP Morgan downgraded the steel stock to “neutral” from “overweight”.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 4.00-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, and by a 2.88-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded seven new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded nine new highs and 53 new lows. — Reuters