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S&P 500 Slips on Tech Rout as Strong Economic Data Stoke Hawkish Fed Jitters

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 fell Tuesday, as data pointing to ongoing strength in the labor market and the consumer bolstered expectations for the Federal Reserve to stay the course on monetary policy tightening.

The S&P 500 fell 1.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.1%, or 349 points, the Nasdaq was down 1.5%.

Job openings unexpectedly climbed back to record levels in July, and consumer confidence topped estimates to hit the highest level since May, adding further credence to the Fed’s recent messaging that more needs to be down to slow the economy and taper inflation.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams continued the recent Fed hawkish talk, saying that with inflation expected to be between 2.5% to 3% next year, interest rates may need to rise a “little bit or somewhat” above 3.5% to cool price pressures.

Treasury yields continued to ride aggressive rate hike bets higher, keeping growth sectors of the market, sensitive to rising rates, in the firing line.

Big tech was led lower by a 1% slip in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), while semiconductor stocks added to recent lows after Citi warned the sector could drop another 25%, pressured by lower demand and inventory overloads.

Energy also played a big role in the broader-market downturn, paced by a decline in oil prices as Russia pushed back against expectations that OPEC+ was mulling production cuts, Russian media outlet TASS reported, citing an unnamed source.

APA Corporation (NASDAQ:APA), Baker Hughes (NASDAQ:BKR), and Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) fell more than 5%.

On the earnings front, retailers remain in focus following better-than-expected quarterly results from Best Buy and Big Lots.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) rose more than 2% on better-than-feared results as discounts and efforts to cut costs bolstered results.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) gained more than 10% after reporting a small-than-expected loss as sales came in just above Wall Street estimates. The retailer said it expects "continued significant promotional activity" with a gross margin rate into the mid-30s.

Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), meanwhile, was down more than 7% despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly results and guidance that touted a recovery in demand and ad-sales.

In other news, Bed Bath&Beyond Inc (NASDAQ:BBBY) cut gains to trade about 8% lower ahead of its business and strategic update Wednesday. The stock, however, has doubled this month as appetite for meme-stocks appears to be back in vogue.

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