By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com -- The Dow slipped into red late into the close Wednesday, pressured by a Micron-fueled slump in tech and heavy losses in retailer Target just as better-than-expected retail sales data renewed fears of more hawkish Federal Reserve monetary policy tightening.
The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 1.3% last month , topping estimates for the 1.0% gain expected. The retail sales control group – which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP – rose 0.7% beating expectations for a 0.3% rise.
The strong data is a “decent indication that nominal demand remains fairly robust...suggesting that the Fed still has more work to do to bring it in line with aggregate supply,” Jefferies said in a note.
Tech stocks took a breather from their recent melt-up following pressure from a Micron-led slump in semiconductor stocks.
Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU ) fell more than 6% after the chipmaker warned that the market outlook for 2023 “has weakened,” and cut capital expenditure amid plans to trim supply.
“We do believe there is potential for a longer demand trough that would potentially weigh on the broader technology space (e.g., a recovery that starts later in 2023 or is weaker than projected),” Wedbush said following Micron’s announcement.
Target (NYSE: TGT ) fell 13%, pushing the broader retail sector deep in the red after the retailer reported a 50% slump in profit and cut its fourth-quarter guidance, warning of a weaker holiday quarter.
Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP ) fell 15% after reporting quarterly results that missed on both the top and bottom lines, prompting a string of downgrades from analysts on Wall Street. UBS downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, while Wedbush cut its price target on the stock to $165 from $200.
Despite the move lower in the broader market some on Wall Street continue to bet that stocks will likely grind higher into the year-end, though the advance isn’t likely to be smooth.
“We like the markets overall to push modestly higher into year-end, however this should not assume it will be a smooth trade, as macro uncertainty remains elevated even after some of the inflation data has started to cool,” Janney Montgomery Scott said in a note.
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