US stocks sink as Fed signals it will remain aggressive


NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks fell sharply Thursday after lackluster retail sales data, amid fears that central bank interest rate hikes will prompt a global recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 2.3 percent at 33,202.22.
The broad-based S&P 500 tumbled 2.5 percent to 3,896.75, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 3.2 percent to 10,810.53.
To investors now, “the risk of a hard landing is greater than they thought it was,” said LBBW’s Karl Haeling.
“I think the market discounted a soft landing like a mild recession, but it has not discounted a harder recession,” he said.
US retail sales fell 0.6 percent in November from October to $689.4 billion, a bigger drop than expected, as persistently high inflation pressures shoppers during the key festive season.
Federal Reserve data released Thursday also showed a 0.2 percent decline in industrial production last month, defying analysts’ expectations for an uptick.
And the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s Empire survey saw a plunge in readings, with shipments and new orders worsening, analysts noted.
“Manufacturing conditions in the US are deteriorating as central banks continue to raise rates and the global economy weakens,” said economist Gurleen Chadha of Oxford Economics.
A day after the latest Fed interest rate hike, the European Central Bank and Bank of England were among central banks Thursday also lifting interest rates, both opting for 50 basis points increases.
While equity market losses were broad-based, large tech companies suffered through an especially brutal session, with Apple losing 4.7 percent, Facebook parent Meta 4.5 percent and Netflix 8.6 percent.

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