Wall Street indexes fell on Wednesday as data pointed to strength in the US economy but indicated inflationary pressures, while disappointing earnings from retailers also weighed on the mood.
Department store operators Nordstrom Inc. and apparel retailer Gap Inc., fell 29.3% and 23.2%, respectively, as both companies warned of supply chain issues and rising costs during the crucial holiday season.
The broader retail index fell 0.4% as results set a grim tone for the sector ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend, which kicks off the shopping-heavy US holiday season.
“The problem is, expectations are high for a very strong, strong holiday shopping season for retailers. Anything less than that will be disappointing,”; said Ken Mahoney, chief executive officer of Mahoney Asset Management.
Technology stocks were the biggest losers on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, extending losses this week following the nomination of Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve chair, boosting bets of an increasingly tightening US monetary policy .
Technology stocks are sensitive to rising interest rates because their value depends heavily on future earnings, which are discounted more deeply when rates rise.
The S&P technology sector and the communications services sector each fell 0.4%.
Data showed US consumer spending rose more than expected in October as households bought motor vehicles and a range of other goods, although price pressure mounted.
The so-called core PCE price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, rose 4.1% in the 12 months to October after a 3.7% advance in September.
Another set showed that weekly jobless claims declined and third quarter GDP was revised higher.
The focus is also on the minutes of the Fed’s November 2-3 meeting, which takes place later in the day, on the pace at which the central bank intends to ease COVID-era stimulus measures. Fed officials agreed at the meeting to begin reducing monthly asset purchases.
Lower trading volumes this week ahead of the market holiday on Thursday and a short session on Friday have kept volatility high.
At 10:25 am, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 105.30 points, or 0.29%, at 35,708.50 and the S&P 500 was down 11.77 points, or 0.25%, at 4,678.93. The Nasdaq Composite was down 49.83 points, or 0.32%, at 15,725.31.
Among other stocks, Tesla Inc. reversed early losses when CEO Elon Musk sold another 934,091 shares of the electric vehicle maker worth $1.05 billion after exercising options to buy 2.15 million shares. Its shares were up 0.4% in the past.
Shares of PC makers HP Inc and Dell Technologies rose 8.9% and 4.3%, respectively, after posting more than four-fold jump in quarterly profits amid rising demand for personal computers.
The number of issues has increased, declining to a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.25-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 17 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 30 new highs and 195 new lows.
This story has been published without modification in text from a wire agency feed.
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