Stocks sink as Wall Street’s rebound attempt falters, Nasdaq drops 1% – CNBC

August retail sales post an unexpected 0.3% increase; weekly jobless claims hit 213,000

U.S. stocks fell in choppy trading on Thursday as investors mulled over several economic reports that showed a muddy picture of the U.S. economy.

The Nasdaq Composite shed 1.4%, while the S&P 500 fell 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 158 points, or 0.5%.

Shares of Adobe fell 13% after the company announced a $20 billion deal to buy Figma, weighing on the Nasdaq. Oil giant Chevron dropped 2%, hurting the Dow.

Financial stocks outperformed, with Goldman Sachs rising 1.3% and JPMorgan climbing 1%.

On Thursday, initial jobless claims came in better than expected, but import prices saw a smaller drop than estimates suggested. Retail sales beat expectations, but were negative when excluding autos. Manufacturing data also showed a slowing economy. While those reports suggest that the U.S. consumer sector is holding its ground for now, they will do little to alleviate concerns about persistent inflation.

Wall Street is coming off a choppy session in which the major averages posted modest gains, but made little dent in Tuesday’s massive sell-off. Wall Street is still trying to find its footing after a surprise increase in August’s consumer price index report sparked a decline of more than 1,200 points for the Dow on Tuesday.

The stubbornly high inflation has led investors to fear that the Federal Reserve will be more aggressive with its rate hikes, raising the odds of a recession in the U.S.

“The Fed needs to pick their poison. Do you continue strong ahead to tamp down inflation at the risk of recession, at the risk of increasing unemployment? It’s truly a dilemma, but I think that given what we have heard from the Fed the focus is squarely on inflation,” said Mike Loewengart, head of model portfolio construction at Morgan Stanley.

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