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Stocks Drop Before Fed; QQQ Climbs in Late Trading: Markets Wrap

  • Walmart tumbles after profit-forecast warning sows gloom
  • US consumer confidence drops to lowest since February 2021
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Hawkish Fed, Recession, Equity Downside: 3-Minute MLIV
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Stocks slumped after paltry economic figures and a weaker outlook from the world’s largest retailer underscored the impacts of inflation pressures on consumer spending, with recession fears running rampant as the Federal Reserve gets ready to deliver another jumbo-sized hike.

Walmart Inc.’s rout engulfed industry peers, with Morgan Stanley saying its forecast is a “potential warning signal” for Inc.’s merchandise margins. In late trading, a $166 billion exchange-traded fund tracking the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) rose as Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. surged after earnings. Microsoft Corp. fell amid its slowest sales growth since 2020.