U.S. stocks extended their losses on Tuesday after retail giant Walmart (NYSE:WMT) issued a gloomy outlook for fiscal 2023. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 697.1 points, or 2.1%, while the S&P 500 (SPX) dropped 81.8 points, or 2%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) shed 295 points, or 2.5%.
The sell-off was sparked by Walmart’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, but a disappointing outlook for 2023 sent its stock down nearly 2% in morning trading. The retail giant’s CFO warned that he was worried about inflation and its impact on the US consumer, causing investors to worry that the Federal Reserve (Fed) would keep interest rates elevated for longer.
The stock of General Mills (NYSE:GIS) experienced a 1.5% increase after the company, which produces packaged food, revised its annual organic sales and profit expectations upwards, due to the thriving demand for its breakfast cereals and snack bars.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 had their most extreme losses since December 15, with the Dow experiencing a 696 point decrease, or 2.1%, and the S&P 500 going down by a 2%. The Nasdaq Composite ended 2.5% down.
Approximately 70% of the United States' gross domestic product (GDP) is comprised of consumer spending, making it a key factor in the nation's economic performance. A decrease in consumer spending could have a negative effect on growth and even lead to a recession.
Shares of Walmart recovered by the early afternoon, closing up by about 0.6%. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) also issued a profit forecast that was lower than expected after higher supply chain costs and weak demand. The stock price of Home Depot decreased by over 5%.
Wednesday night will bring Nvidia's (NVDA) earnings report, a key event for the chip sector and the wider market rally. The Federal Reserve will be making public the minutes from their Jan. 31-Feb. meeting on Wednesday. One gatheringThis Friday, the PCE price index, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation, will be released for the month of January.
Later this month, reports will be released by Target, Best Buy, Macy's, and Gap. Investors are making preparations for a week packed with significant economic data. On Wednesday, the minutes of the Federal Reserve's previous gathering will be released, and a revised Gross Domestic Product figure is due out on Thursday.
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