By Yasin Ebrahim
The Dow stumbled for a third-straight day Tuesday as data pointing to a tight labor market and robust consumer confidence bolstered expectations for the Federal Reserve to stay the course on monetary policy tightening.
Job openings unexpectedly climbed back to record levels in July, and consumer confidence topped estimates to hit the highest level since May, adding further credence to the Fed’s recent messaging that more needs to be down to slow the economy and taper inflation.
New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams continued the recent hawkish Fed talk, saying that with inflation expected to be between 2.5% to 3% next year, interest rates may need to rise a “little bit or somewhat” above 3.5% to cool price pressures.
Treasury yields continued to ride aggressive rate hike bets higher, keeping growth sectors of the market, sensitive to rising rates, in the firing line.
Big tech was led lower by a 1% slip in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), while semiconductor stocks added to recent lows after Citi warned the sector could drop another 25%, pressured by lower demand and inventory overloads.
Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) fell almost 2% after Elon Musk sent the social media company another notice to terminate the $44 billion deal and included the recent whistleblower complaint that flagged security and user vulnerabilities on the platform.
Energy also played a big role in the broader-market downturn, paced by a decline in oil prices as Russia pushed back against expectations that OPEC+ was mulling production cuts, Russian media outlet TASS reported, citing an unnamed source.
On the earnings front, retailers remain in focus following better-than-expected quarterly results from Best Buy and Big Lots.
Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) gained more than 11% after reporting a small-than-expected loss as sales came in just above Wall Street estimates. The retailer said it expects “continued significant promotional activity” with a gross margin rate into the mid-30s.
In other news, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ:BBBY) cut gains to trade about 9% lower ahead of its business and strategic update Wednesday. The stock, however, has doubled this month as appetite for meme-stocks appears to be back in vogue.