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Stocks Drop on Consumer Weakness, Growth Fears With Fed on Tap

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US equities sank Tuesday amid a rout in consumer stocks and warnings of weakening spending due to inflation as traders turn their focus to the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision on Wednesday. 

The S&P 500 Index closed down 1.2% in relatively light summer trading, with eight of the benchmark’s 11 major groups finishing lower, led by the consumer discretionary sector’s 3.3% plunge. The selloff was broad, as 323 of S&P’s 503 stocks declined. The Nasdaq 100 Index dropped 2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7%.