Trader Patrick McKeon works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. Stocks are opening modestly higher on Wall Street as the market stabilizes following three days of tumult. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
WASHINGTON — The past week’s stomach-churning stock market losses were ignited by a sudden and contagious fear of surging inflation and higher interest rates. Many investors worried that inflation would send borrowing rates up and sap corporate profits, stock prices and the U.S. economy.