Stocks fell sharply on Thursday after new data showed that retail sales fell more-than-expected in November, raising fears that the Federal Reserve’s relentless interest rate hikes are tipping the economy into recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 772 points, or 2.27%. The S&P 500 fell 2.47%, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.92%.
The sell-off was widespread with only 17 S&P 500 stocks trading in positive territory. Big tech stocks fellwith shares appleAnd the MicrosoftAnd the Amazon And the the alphabet each increased by more than 3%.
Meanwhile, Treasury yields fell after the Fed’s latest policy update, with The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell below 3.5%..
These moves follow a The retail sales report is disappointing Which indicate that inflation negatively affects consumers. Retail sales fell 0.6% in November, according to the Commerce Department. That was a bigger loss than the Dow Jones estimate of a 0.3% decline.
Investors are coming out of a losing session as they continue to digest Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s post-Fed comments Borrowing rate boosted overnight.
The central bank said it would continue to raise interest rates through 2023 and projected the federal funds rate to peak at 5.1% higher than expected. With Wednesday’s rise of half a percentage point, the target range for rates is currently between 4.25% and 4.5%, the highest in 15 years.
Despite the improvement in growth, spending, and production, Powell noted that it is still there The job gains involved are very strong And the unemployment rate is very good for the Fed’s fight against inflation.
“People assume that earnings will decline, but that’s how big that decline is and how fast it’s happening — we think that’s where the surprise is,” Morgan Stanley strategist Mike Wilson said Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“It’s the negative operating leverage that we’re seeing from lower inflation…that’s going to hurt margins, and that’s regardless of whether or not there’s a recession,” Wilson added.
— CNBC’s Michelle Fox contributed to this report.
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