Aug. 18 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a five-day winning streak as investors assessed the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve.
The blue-chip Dow fell 171.69 points, or 0.5%, after having posted gains for the past five sessions. The S&P 500 declined 0.72% and the Nasdaq Composite continued to slide, falling 1.25%.
Investors weighed the release of minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, in which the central bank said it would continue to aggressively hike interest rates in order to tame inflation.
“Participants continued to anticipate that ongoing increases in the target range for the federal funds rate would be appropriate to achieve the committee’s objectives,” the minutes stated. “With inflation remaining well above the committee’s objective participants judged that moving to a restrictive stance of policy was required to meet the committee’s legislative mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability.”
The Fed also suggested the pace of its tightening could soon slow.
“Participants judged that, as the stance of monetary policy tightened further, it likely would become appropriate at some point to slow the pace of policy rate increases while assessing the effects of cumulative policy adjustments on economic activity and inflation,” the central bank said.
Key retail sales data from the Commerce Department said advance monthly sales for July were about $683 billion — largely the same as it was in June.
On a year-to-year basis, the report said prices were about 10.3% higher than July 2021.
Major retailers continued to report quarterly earnings, with Target missing earnings expectations with its key same-store sales measures rising 2.6% against expectations of 2.8%.
Shares of Target fell 2.69%.
TJ Maxx parent TJX rose 2.48% after falling earlier in the day as it missed second-quarter sales estimates.
Bed, Bath & Beyond stock rose 11.77% in regular trading amid a continued rally on meme stock but fell nearly 20% after hours after activist investor Ryan Cohen said he plans to sell his entire stake in the retailer.
Market shares of other prominent meme stocks were also on the decline with AMC falling 13.94% and GameStop dropping 3.96%.