Stocks edged mostly lower on Wall Street in midday trading Wednesday after giving up an early gain.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 11:33 a.m. Eastern. The benchmark index could be headed for its fourth straight decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 195 points, or 0.6%, to 34,186 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.
Banks were among the heaviest weights on the market. JPMorgan Chase fell 2.2% after its latest earnings showed that the bank struggled to grow revenues with interest rates at near-zero levels. Falling bond yields also weighed on the sector, which relies on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.55% from 1.58% late Tuesday.
Industrial stocks also fell broadly. Delta Air Lines shed 4.6% after warning investors that rising fuel prices will challenge its ability to remain profitable. It also forecast higher labor costs.
Materials makers and a mix of companies focusing on consumer goods and services held up better than the rest of the market.
The latest update on inflation was mostly taken in stride. Consumer prices rose 5.4% in September from a year ago, matching the highest rate since 2008. The figure is slightly higher than economists expected. A wide range of businesses have been dealing with supply chain disruptions and delays amid rising demand for goods, and many have warned that will increase costs and crimp their financial results.
Many companies have been raising prices to offset higher shipping and raw materials costs. Analysts are concerned that higher prices could stall consumer spending, the key driver for economic growth. The latest report from the Labor Department showed that the costs of new cars, food, gas, and restaurant meals all jumped in September.
Investors will get more data on consumer spending on Friday when the Commerce Department reports retails sales for September.
More big banks are scheduled to release earnings this week. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup will follow with their latest quarterly results on Thursday. Corporate earnings reports will ramp up after this week and analysts have said that might help show investors a clearer path ahead in what has been a choppy market.