Around the World's Markets: New York

WALL STREET tumbled after an unexpectedly strong retail sales report heightened interest-rate fears in a market already jittery ahead of today's release of inflation data.

By midday the Dow Jones was down 90 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 10,939. Retail sales rose 1.2 per cent in August, compared with the economists' forecasts of an increase of 0.8 per cent. "Clearly it's not a good sign," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.