By Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Tuesday after stronger-than-expected retail sales data stoked worries interest rates could stay higher for longer, while U.S. big banks dropped on a report that Fitch could downgrade some lenders.
The Commerce Department’s report showed retail sales grew 0.7% last month against expectations of a 0.4% rise, suggesting the U.S. economy remains strong.
“Given the fact that we are so hyper-vigilant about the Fed and what their next step will be in September, it isn’t surprising that the market reacted with jitters,” said Peter Andersen, founder of Andersen Capital Management in Boston.
“The retail sales number might indicate that the Fed would continue to raise rates.”
Traders’ odds of a pause on hikes by the Federal Reserve at its September meeting briefly dipped after the data only to climb back to 89%.
Also weighing on markets, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo slipped between 1.8% and 2.2% after a report said ratings agency Fitch could downgrade multiple banks.
The S&P 500 banking index hit a one-month low, down 2.0%.
Shares of regional lenders PacWest Bancorp, Zions Bancorporation and Western Alliance Bank fell between 3.6% and 6.3% after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp’s latest regulatory overhaul proposal.
The yield on the 10-year benchmark Treasury note also climbed to hit a near 10-month high of 4.27%. [US/]
Rising Treasury yields have kept equities under pressure after hotter-than-expected producer prices data last week fueled fears the Fed could keep rates higher for longer than previously anticipated.
All major 11 S&P 500 sectors declined, with energy stocks leading losses on weaker crude prices. [O/R]
Nvidia was an outlier among major technology and growth stocks, rising 1.6% after UBS and Wells Fargo lifted their price targets on the stock.
U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies JD.Com, Alibaba Group and Bilibili slid between 1.5% and 3% following another round of disappointing economic data from China which prompted Beijing to cut key policy rates.
At 9:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 229.22 points, or 0.65%, at 35,078.41, the S&P 500 was down 26.94 points, or 0.60%, at 4,462.78, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 64.29 points, or 0.47%, at 13,724.04.
Among other stocks, General Motors fell 1.5% after Berkshire Hathaway cut its stake in the automaker.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire disclosed a new investment in homebuilder D.R. Horton and Lennar Corp, lifting their shares up 2.4% and 1.6%, respectively.
Home Depot added 1% after the home improvement chain posted a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly same-store sales and topped profit estimates.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 5.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.90-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and 14 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 24 new highs and 90 new lows.
(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar, Shristi Achar A and Shashwat Chauhan; Editing by Maju Samuel and Vinay Dwivedi)