The stock market moved lower on Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 to the brink of bear market territory as investors continued to offload shares following warnings from major retailers about inflationary pressures, which have added to fears about aggressive rate hikes tipping the economy into a recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5%, over 150 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.
The benchmark S&P 500 now sits at the edge of bear market territory—down roughly 19% from its record highs at the start of this year, which would be its first such downturn since the pandemic market selloff in March 2020.
Stocks added to losses after the market’s worst selloff in nearly two years, with the Dow plunging over 1,100 points on Wednesday as disappointing quarterly results from major retailers sparked fears about inflation causing an economic slowdown.
Shares of Target and Walmart, which earlier this week reported rising costs that hurt profits, saw their stocks fall again on Thursday, after dropping 25% and 7%, respectively, a day earlier.
Shares of Kohl’s fell up to 5% before paring back losses after it became the latest retailer to post disappointing quarterly results, similarly citing inflationary pressures and adding to reinvigorated fears that American consumers are feeling the impact of surging prices.
“The issue now is there really appears to be nowhere to hide” as the ongoing selloff wreaks havoc in all corners of the market, says BTIG analyst Jonathan Krinsky, who adds, “selling rallies in bear markets is much easier than buying dips.”