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Target yesterday reiterated a warning from competitor Walmart the day before that rising costs would hurt its full-year profits and trigger the biggest one-day fall in its share price since the 1987 stock market crash.
Shares of Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, fell another 6.8 percent yesterday after shedding 11 percent the day before as it cut its earnings guidance.
Other retailers’ share prices also fell sharply. Discount group Dollar General fell 11 percent, Dollar Tree 14 percent and Costco 12.5 percent.
The declines in the retail sector led to a broader sell-off in US stock markets, which experienced their worst day since the pandemic began.
The benchmark stock index S&P 500 fell 4 percent, its biggest loss since June 2020, while the tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite ended down 4.7 percent.
Retailers have been caught off guard by the magnitude of inflationary pressures in the US economy.
“We don’t expect any significant reduction in pressure on global supply chains until 2023 at the earliest,” said Mike Fiddelke, Target’s chief financial officer. “Therefore, the increased costs we faced will continue to impact our profitability for the remainder of the year,” he added.
A day earlier, Walmart, long considered the forerunner of American consumers, warned of higher wages, a rise in fuel costs and a decline in overall merchandise sales at its US stores as consumers cut spending.
go deeper: Target and Walmart prove that “old-economy” stocks can plummet on bad news, just like tech stocks, the Lex column notes. Alphaville, meanwhile, has received a memo from PGIM Fixed Income’s co-chief investment officer warning of “a central bank-driven recession.”
Thank you for reading FirstFT Americas. Here’s the rest of today’s news – Gordon
Five more stories in the news
1. Exclusive: Top US antitrust authorities promise crackdown on private equity deals Jonathan Kanter, head of the DoJ’s antitrust unit, said in an interview with the FT that he would take a tougher stance on private equity firms that rip up parts of the American economy in ways that are often “contrary to the law ” stands.
2. Google’s Russian unit has to file for bankruptcy Google is the latest American company to leave Russia. The Russian subsidiary plans to file for bankruptcy after the country’s authorities seized its bank account. The US tech giant said it will continue to offer free services to users in Russia, including Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Android and Play.
3. Sweden “must cut ties” with Kurdish militia in Syria, says Turkish envoy Turkey’s ambassador in Stockholm said Sweden must cut ties with the People’s Defense Units (YPG), an armed Kurdish militia that has led the campaign against Isis in Syria, or Turkey will continue to block its bid to join NATO. Yesterday, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stunned his NATO allies by saying he could not accept Sweden and Finland’s membership because they support groups Turkey sees as terrorists.
4. Melvin Capital is winding down funds The hedge fund founded by Gabe Plotkin, which lost billions of dollars during last year’s meme stocks rally, has told clients it plans to return money to investors after a rough patch. “The past 17 months have been an incredibly trying time for the Company and you, our investors,” Plotkin said in a letter to investors presented to the Financial Times.
5. Joe Biden invokes Korean wartime forces to combat baby food shortages The White House last night used the Defense Production Act, first enacted during the Korean War, to direct companies to prioritize the production of ingredients used in the manufacture of baby formula. The shortages are quickly becoming a political burden for the White House and Congressional Democrats.
go deeper: The baby food shortage is an important lesson for policymakers around the world trying to unblock supply chains and bring production of essential goods closer to home, writes Brooke Masters.
The day ahead
NATO meets Defense chiefs will gather in Brussels today as US President Joe Biden receives leaders of Finland and Sweden at the White House to discuss their NATO proposals.
ECB Minutes Policymakers are set to release the minutes of the European Central Bank’s latest meeting as central banks around the world look for a interest rate sweet spot in the fight against inflation.
corporate profit Retailers will be the focus again, with discounters Ross Stores, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Kohl’s reporting first quarter results. Apparel and footwear company VF Corporation is also reporting results as New York markets close.
economic data Jobless claims are forecast to have declined slightly in the week ending May 14, a sign of a tight US job market. Economists have forecast US existing home sales to have fallen to 5.65 million units in April, down from 5.77 million in March. Demand for existing homes is expected to have eased after the 30-year mortgage rate hit a 13-year high of 5.3 percent.
monetary policy Former Treasury Department top official Michael Barr will appear before the Senate for a hearing confirming his appointment as vice chairman for oversight of the Federal Reserve.
What else do we read?
Donald Trump’s star power leads to uneven results in the Republican primary Doug Mastriano’s victory in Pennsylvania underscored former President Donald Trump’s influence in the Republican Party. But elsewhere there were signs that the former president’s support did not carry the weight he had hoped.
The buffalo shooting illuminates the racist ‘great replacement’ theory. Payton Gendron’s killing spree has prompted a renewed scrutiny of conservative media figures and Republican lawmakers accused of embracing, sympathizing with, and aligning with views on race and immigration that have entered the terrain of extremist untruths. The most prominent of these is the “Great Replacement” theory.
How Colombia’s elections could transform Latin America Colombia has been a close US ally for decades, but the upcoming presidential election threatens Bogotá’s close ties with Washington. Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement and social activist, is leading the polls and has promised to reconsider the “war on drugs” and restore ties with Venezuela.
Hollywood braced itself for austerity after streaming As once-rapid subscriber growth reverses and its stock price falls, Netflix will “pull back” spending growth over the next two years, said Spencer Neumann, its chief financial officer. A new age of austerity could emerge in the streaming wars.
How do musicians make money today? Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube Music combined have more than 560 million estimated subscribers and many more non-paying users. Unable to fight streaming giants, some artists are scrambling to create their own business model.
Debt is stifling Africa’s ability to respond to climate change BlackRock’s Larry Fink has signaled his support for climate-focused investing. But behind his careful positioning, Vanessa Nakate writes, lies the history of BlackRock and Zambia and how debt has prevented lower-income countries from fighting back against climate change.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of a pilot? For Mark Vanhoenacker, big cities have a special meaning – and it’s a joy to witness their resurgence after the pandemic.
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