Stocks tumble as Target’s poor results send Wall Street back into worry mode.

Other retailers were also down sharply. Costco fell 12%; Dollar Tree fell about 17%; and Best Buy fell 9.9%.

Retailers are hurt by rising fuel prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and sanctions imposed or proposed as a result have driven up oil prices. On Wednesday, oil prices were slightly lower at around $110 a barrel – but that price is still well above crude oil futures of around $78 a barrel traded late last year.

Target and Walmart said their sales actually rose slightly as consumers continued to spend even as prices rose across the economy. On Tuesday, the government said consumer spending in the United States continued to climb in April. That eased investor concerns about the health of the economy, but the upbeat sentiment didn’t last long.

“Consumers are weathering the blow of inflation,” Fiona Cincotta, senior financial markets analyst at Forex.com, wrote in a note. “Retailers, however, haven’t been doing so well in navigating high inflation for 40 years. »

Sharp price swings have characterized trading on Wall Street in recent weeks as investors struggle to navigate the uncertainty ahead with rising prices and the Federal Reserve rapidly raising interest rates to combat the rapid inflation. Economists fear the economy is at risk of recession as consumer activity could decline as borrowing costs rise.

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