Wall Street plunged into the red on Friday, as the poor start to the earnings season, with disappointing releases from several financial institutions, added to concerns over the recent reawakening of inflation.

The Dow Jones thus lost more than 1.2% to 37,983 points over the session, while the S&P500 slumped nearly 1.5% to around 5,123 points, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped just over 1.6% to 16,175 points.175 points.

Concerns about persistent inflation in the US, which could well complicate the Fed's task of initiating a cycle of monetary easing, continued to undermine investor morale.

Down to 77.9 in April from 79.4 the previous month, the University of Michigan's confidence index on Friday showed a clear deterioration in household morale, precisely because of a rise in inflation expectations.

Equally alarming, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon expressed concern about the existence of a large number of persistent inflationary pressures, which he said "could well be prolonged".

He was speaking on the occasion of the publication of his group's results, a publication which was punished by a 6.5% fall in the share price, despite EPS well above expectations for the leading US bank in terms of assets.

More generally, traders shunned this first salvo of quarterly results, ignoring those of BlackRock (-2.9%), Citigroup (-1.7%) and, to a lesser extent, Wells Fargo (-0.4%), even though the new earnings season had raised many hopes.

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