Wall Street pressured by tech stocks

The Dow fell 292.30 points to 33,706.74, while the Nasdaq slipped 260.13 points to 12,705.22. The Russell 2000 dropped 43.38 points to 1,957.35.

Technology stocks had some of the biggest losses, with the sector’s decline weighing heavily on the broader market. Microsoft fell 1.4 percent.

Retailers, banks and communications companies also fell sharply amid the general decline.

Shares of Meme Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 40.5% after high-profile activist investor Ryan Cohen confirmed he had sold his stake in the company.

Cryptocurrencies fell widely as Bitcoin plunged 8.5 percent to $21,370, according to CoinDesk.

Bright spots included General Motors, which rose 2.5 percent after reinstating its dividend. Foot Locker soared 20 percent after replacing its CEO and reporting profit that beat Wall Street estimates.

Bond yields gained ground, reflecting expectations of further interest rate hikes. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.97 percent from 2.89 percent on Thursday night.

Traders had no shortage of company and economic data to review this week, including the latest batch of earnings from retailers and updates on spending, home sales and the labor market.

Big retailers including Walmart and Target have warned investors that inflation is limiting consumer spending. The Macy’s department store owner will report his results next week.

A report on retail sales this week showed spending remaining resilient as gasoline prices fall and helping ease some of the pressure from inflation.

Wall Street is trying to determine how stubbornly high inflation is hurting businesses and consumers and whether the economy can remain resilient and avoid a recession.

Data from government and corporate reports are also being closely watched as investors try to determine how the Federal Reserve will proceed with its plan to fight inflation by raising interest rates. The goal is to raise rates and slow economic growth to cool inflation. But, the central bank is drawing a fine line between reining in inflation in an economy that is already slowing and hitting the brakes too hard and pushing the economy into a recession.


Minutes from the Fed’s July meeting released this week said inflation is still too high and made clear the central bank will continue to raise interest rates. The central bank has raised interest rates twice this year by 0.75 percentage point, triple its usual margin. Forecasters currently expect a half percentage point increase at the next board meeting.

Wall Street will be watching next week for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at an annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“The question is does he engage the market with his assessment of the direction of inflation, the progress the Fed is making and offer any suggestions on the direction of rate hikes?” Crosby said.

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