Wall Street took a big hit on Monday, with the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite dropping 3.9 percent, 2.8 percent, and 4.7 percent, respectively.
The plunge, which pushes the market into bear territory, is largely interpreted as a reaction to Friday's less-than-stellar consumer price index report, which saw inflation jump 8.6 percent from a year ago in May. Investors are also concerned at how aggressively the Federal Reserve is planning to act to tame said inflation; the central bank is meeting to discuss yet another interest rate hike this week.
"It seems as though inflation is staying for longer than expected," Kiran Hanesh, multi-asset strategist at UBS, told The Wall Street Journal. "People are now beginning to fear that the Fed will have to go further or faster in terms of interest rates."
Cryptocurrencies were hit especially hard on Monday, notes The Associated Press, with Bitcoin falling roughly 15 percent from 24 hours earlier. Ethereum also fell 17 percent over the same period, while shares of Coinbase Global were down almost 12 percent, the Journal adds. Tech stocks, meanwhile, were also "set for big declines" — Apple and Amazon shares, for example, were down 3.8 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.
"This is what you call a bear market," Todd Morgan of Bel Air Investment Advisors told the Journal, "where fear is taking place and pushing people out of the market and having people empty up portfolios and capitulate."