U.S. stocks drop after hotter-than-expected PPI data

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street's major averages pulled back on Friday after U.S. producer inflation for November came in hotter than anticipated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 305.02 points, or 0.90 percent, to 33,476.46. The S&P 500 fell 29.13 points, or 0.73 percent, to 3,934.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 77.38 points, or 0.70 percent, to 11,004.62.

Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with energy and health care down 2.33 percent and 1.28 percent, respectively, leading the laggards. Communication services rose 0.02 percent, the lone gaining group.

The U.S. producer price index (PPI) rose 0.3 percent in November, above the 0.2 percent consensus, for a 7.4 percent year-on-year increase, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

The PPI excluding food, energy and trade services rose 0.3 percent, also topping market estimates.

"Producer prices rose more than expected in November, tempering some of the jubilation from a promising month of October inflation data," Will Compernolle, senior economist at FHN Financial, said Friday in a note.

"Food prices keep rising in the PPI despite falling commodity prices, suggesting resilient price pressures that we've seen pass through to higher consumer prices," Compernolle added.

Investors braced for a big week ahead. The November U.S. consumer price index is slated for release on Tuesday. The Federal Reserve is set to deliver another rate hike when concluding a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

For the week ending Dec. 9, the Dow fell 2.8 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 3.4 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 4 percent, as market participants remained concerned about the economic landscape.

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