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S&P 500 Off Session Lows, but Surprise Rise in Retail Sales Stokes Fed Fears

Stock MarketsSep 16, 2021 03:50PM ET
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© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The S&P 500 cut losses Thursday, shrugging off concerns that the Federal Reserve could tighten policy sooner rather than later following an unexpected rise in monthly retail sales. 

The S&P 500 fell 0.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%, or 19 points, the Nasdaq gained 0.2%.

“[T]he Treasury curve bear steepened and the S&P500 fell presumably on the good news is bad for Fed expectations logic,” Scotiabank said in a note.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales rose 0.7% last month. That confounded economists’ forecast for a 0.8% decline. The retail sales control group – which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP –  climbed 2.5% topping expectations for a 0.1% decrease. 

“Retail sales rebounded in August, despite sizable drag from auto sales. Outside of autos, sales posted broad-based increases, with particular strength in online sales, general merchandise and furniture sales,” Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) said in a note.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported initial jobless claims increased by 20,000 to 332,000 in the week ended Sept. 11, missing forecasts for a 18,000 decline.

The positive economic data failed to spur cyclical corners of the market as energy and materials were the worst performing sectors on the day.

Newmont Goldcorp Corp (NYSE:NEM), Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM), and Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX), were the worst performers in materials, with the latter down more than 5%.

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE:FCX) deepens its losses amid an ongoing decline in copper prices as tailwinds including stimulus and inflation concerns are expected to fade.

Energy, meanwhile, gave back some its recent gains even as oil prices cut its losses.

Tech stocks struggled to rack up gains as the positive economic data lifted Treasury yields.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), were in the red, while Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) turned positive.

In other news, Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) fell 3% after Piper Sandler downgraded the stock to underweight from neutral, and cut its price target on the stock to $95 from $120, citing expectations for slowing sales ahead.

S&P 500 Off Session Lows, but Surprise Rise in Retail Sales Stokes Fed Fears
 

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Comments (4)
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Sep 16, 2021 4:13PM ET
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The "buying spree" miraculously ends just as the Ponzi scheme goes green, of course after hundreds of points in losses are flagrantly stripped from the system.  The biggest investment joke in the world.
Me comment
Me comment Sep 16, 2021 3:56PM ET
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Everything stokes fears, this is getting ridiculous, get rid of the computer buying and selling and I'll bet the markets would not show the ups and downs on any little news.
Heine Pedersen
Heine Pedersen Sep 16, 2021 3:48PM ET
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They'll talk/hint at tapering.. and then dial back a few days later. Pure manipulation. As with the last meetings. Quite pathetic. They're between a rock and a hard place, because ECB has started 'not tapering'..
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Sep 16, 2021 3:06PM ET
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Once again, the US Ponzi Scheme stages a miraculous "recovery," and clearly illustrates what and absolute JOKE it is.  Flagrant, criminal manipulation in broad daylight.
 
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