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Stock Market Today: Dow in Biggest Slump Since 2020 on Turmoil in Target, Tech

Stock Markets May 18, 2022 22:10
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By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow slumped Wednesday, as a selloff in tech and a plunge in Target's following weaker-than-expected quarterly results triggered a selloff in retailers that pushed stocks to their biggest one-day loss since 2020. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 3.6%, or 1,162 points, its biggest one-day loss since 2020. The S&P 500 fell 3.9%, and Nasdaq fell 4.7%, down more than 26% on the year.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) fell more than 24% after reporting first-quarter earnings that fell well short of estimates, and cutting its guidance on margins, citing ongoing cost pressures.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) also contributed to the gloom, falling 5%, after reporting mixed quarterly results as revenue and comparable-store sales fell short of Wall Street estimates. 

The quarterly results sparked a selloff in retailers, with Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) down sharply. TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) bucked the trend lower, rising more than 7% after the discount retailer’s quarterly profit that topped estimates.

Big tech pared some of their gains from a day earlier, as investors continued to mull the prospect of the Federal Reserve turning more hawkish on monetary policy tightening.

Fed Chairman Powell said on Tuesday the central bank would “keep pushing” interest rates higher until the pace of inflation cools. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) led big tech lower, falling more than 7% and 5% respectively.

Treasury yields, meanwhile, struggled to advance, pressured by safe-haven buying as investors remain concerned about slowing growth amid policy tightening from global central banks.

Energy stocks were down more than 3% after oil prices turned negative as sentiment on risk assets and strength in the dollar weighed.

Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), and APA Corporation (NASDAQ:APA) were among the biggest sector decliners, with the latter down more than 6%.

On the economic front, housing activity continued to slow in the wake of rising mortgage rates.

Housing starts, a gauge of U.S. homebuilding, fell 0.2% in April on the month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.724 million.

Stock Market Today: Dow in Biggest Slump Since 2020 on Turmoil in Target, Tech

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