NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks retreated Tuesday following new worries about rising inflation in Asia and the possibility Ireland might need a bailout.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 73 points in morning trading. The losses piled up even as shares of two components of the index, Home Depot Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., rose more than 2 percent following improved earnings.
Asian markets fell overnight after South Korea's central bank raised interest rates to curb growing inflation. There has been speculation in recent days that China will have to take similar steps soon.
A report in the U.S. showed inflation at the wholesale level was smaller than predicted. The producer price index rose 0.4 percent last month, half of what economists' expected. The rise was due to a sharp increase in food and energy costs. Stripping out those volatile costs, prices fell 0.6 percent. The report backs up the Federal Reserve's view that inflation remains low because of sluggish growth.
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