The stock market began the week with a steep decline, entering bear market territory as fears of a recession among business leaders grow more intense.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had declined by just over 600 points as of 10:00 a.m. EST, a half-an-hour after trading opened on Wall Street. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index ratio, meanwhile, declined by 100.88 in the same period.

Though no formal definition of a ‘bear market’ exists in the securities industry in the U.S., a decline of 20 percent in value from a recent record-high is widely viewed as the threshold.

Equivalent declines in a value were observed in indices across the world, including London’s FTSE 100 (128.18), Tokyo’s Nikkei (836.85), and Hong Kong’s Hang Sang Index (738.60).

Experts ascribed the declines to recent reports of inflation in the U.S., which reached 8.6 percent in May, per a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

Investors have, further, expressed fears that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates – something that its Chairman, Jay Powell, has openly said he would seek to do – too quickly, resulting in recessionary pressure on the economy.

“The worry is that inflation is getting too hot to handle for central banks and they’ll have to dose economies with cold water in the form of tighter policy,” said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, to The Wall Street Journal.

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Stock Market Plunges 600 Points, Entering Bear Territory

Inflation and fears of rapid interest rate hikes likely drove the ... READ MORE

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