U.S. stocks tumbled on Tuesday’ as investors mulled mulled a flurry of corporate earnings and braced for results from Big Tech after the bell.
The benchmark S&P 500 slid 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed roughly 240 points, or 0.8%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite sank 2%.
Shares of Walmart (WMT) declined as much as 8% after the retail giant slashed its second quarter and full-year profit outlooks late Monday due to rampant inflation and a resulting pullback in consumer spending on discretionary items.
“The increasing levels of food and fuel inflation are affecting how customers spend, and while we’ve made good progress clearing hardline categories, apparel in Walmart U.S. is requiring more markdown dollars,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon in a statement. “We’re now anticipating more pressure on general merchandise in the back half; however, we’re encouraged by the start we’re seeing on school supplies in Walmart U.S.”
Walmart’s warning sent dragged down other retailers. Amazon (AMZN), Target (TGT), and Dollar General (DG) each fell as much as 5%, 4%, and 3%, respectively.
The International Monetary Fund further downgraded its forecast for global growth this year and warned of a “gloomy and more uncertain” amid worse-than-expected inflation. The organization now projects the global economy will grow by only 3.2% this year, a downgrade from the 3.6% it had previously forecast in April when it cut expectations for 2022 to 3.6% from 4.4%.
Shopify’s (SHOP) stock nosedived narly 16% after the e-commerce giant said it was laying off roughly 10% of its global workforce after a hiring boom to meet pandemic demand for online shopping.
“It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off,” CEO Tobi Lutke said in a statement. “What we see now is the mix reverting to roughly where pre-Covid data would have suggested it should be at this point.”
Also weighing on sentiment was a disappointing report from General Motors (GM) early Tuesday that showed second-quarter results fell short of Wall Street estimates. The Detroit-based automaker saw its net income fall 40% from a year ago during the period and said it failed to deliver 95,000 vehicles due to part shortages. Shares fell nearly as much as 3%.
Elsewhere in markets, UBS (UBS) shares fell as much as 12% after the Swiss bank reported a smaller quarterly profit than analyst anticipated as market volatility weighed on investment banking revenues and the financial institution warned of a challenging second half of the year.
Federal Reserve officials will convene for their two-day policy meeting Tuesday and are expected to raise interest rates another 75 basis points at its conclusion Wednesday afternoon. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is set to deliver remarks at 2:30 p.m. ET shortly after the U.S. central bank’s policy decision comes out at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Investors are in the throes of the busiest week of the year for Wall Street, with Big Tech earnings on tap, a busy calendar of economic releases – including the all-important advance estimate of second-quarter GDP – and the Fed’s rate decision in the spotlight.
Second quarter reports from Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOG) will be closely-watched after the bell.
According to FactSet Research, 21% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported second-quarter earnings through Friday, with only 68% presenting actual earnings per share above estimates — below the five-year average of 77%. Any earnings beats have also, in aggregate, been only 3.6% above estimates, less than half of the five-year average of 8.8%.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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