The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged Wednesday, dropping more than 1,100 points before the close, heading for its biggest drop since 2020.
The index was down 1,135 basis points, or 3.48% one hour before the close of markets on Wednesday, over fears of rising costs affecting major retail chains.
The Nasdaq fell further, dropping 6.5 points or 4.37% by 3:10 p.m., while the S&P 500 was in the red 3.94% or 161.22 basis points at the same time.
The Nasdaq’s drop was its sharpest since May 5.
Wednesday’s decline reverses gains made Tuesday when U.S. markets rallied behind surging tech stocks. The Dow saw a 431.17-point gain Tuesday.
Retail giant Walmart’s shares fell for a second day in a row, after it announced Tuesday it would significantly miss its earnings targets. The company blames supply chain issues, a rising cost of labor and the high cost of fuel, among other factors. Walmart was down just over 7.1% within an hour of the close.
Other major retailers are feeling a similar crunch.
Home Depot’s stock fell more than 17.4 basis points or 5.79% 45 minutes prior to the close of markets.
The U.S. Federal Reserve continues to signal it will enact further hikes to the base interest rate, in an effort to cool record inflation levels, worrying investors and leading to massive sell-offs.
“I think what investors realized was these seemingly safe haven stocks, the staples like Target, like Walmart, are not immune — that their costs are rising, they cannot pass their higher costs onto their consumers,” Cresset Capital chief investment officer Jack Ablin said in an interview with Yahoo Finance.
“And as Walmart said yesterday, their customers are coming in and buying groceries, but they’re not buying hard goods, they’re not buying other products where they have a slightly higher margin.”
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