Dow drops more than 600 points as U.S. stocks end sharply lower ahead of highly-anticipated inflation data

All three major stock benchmarks closed sharply lower Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite suffering the biggest loss as investors worry about slowing growth and inflation data that will be released Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.94% dropped around 639 points to close 1.9% lower, while the S&P 500 SPX, -2.38% fell 2.4% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq COMP, -2.75% slid almost 2.8%, according to preliminary FactSet data. The U.S. government will release on Friday morning May inflation data measured by the consumer-price index. All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 closed lower Thursday, FactSet data show.

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