The U.S. stock market is taking a beating over renewed concerns about a potential decline in Chinese demand and a plethora of central bankers giving conflicting opinions about what future actions the Federal Reserve will take with regards to interest rates.
At the opening, the S&P 500 declined by 23 points to 1,944, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 206 points to 16,304 and the Nasdaq slid 59 points to 4,769. The European markets tumbled after Credit Suisse cut mining stocks, suggesting that the economic slowdown in China is deepening. Asian markets ended the day on a slightly higher note, with Shanghai’s Composite up 0.9 percent.
The Johnson Redbook Index of retail sales for September 22 was down 1.4 percent, with the previous week down 1.2 percent. Year-over-year retail sales were up 0.9 percent, which is lower than last year’s 1.7 percent.
Telsey Advisory Group raised the price target for Nike from $122 to $128 and maintained an outperform rating. While not quite as high, Cannacord Genuity also raised its price target for the activewear giant to $109 from $104, but kept its hold rating. Nike reports its earnings on Thursday after the market closes and most analysts are expecting a solid quarter. The average estimate according to Thomson is $1.19 in earnings per share and revenues have an average estimate of $8.21 billion. Despite the positive statements, Nike’s stock is down roughly 1 percent to $115 in early trading.
Amazon is in a mood to celebrate. The company is offering Prime memberships for $67 on September 25 to celebrate the 67th Emmy Awards. Amazon programs took home five Emmy wins. Last year the celebration price was $72, so the Prime membership price keeps getting discounted. Amazon shares slid 1 percent to $542.
Groupon is not in a celebratory mood. The online coupon company is cutting about 1,100 jobs globally and expects to log $35 million in pretax charges as a result of the cutbacks. The layoffs affect almost 10 percent of the workforce and should be completed by next September. The cuts are part of a restructuring of its international operations. Groupon has lost 50 percent of its value over the past year and its shares were declining again this morning by 3 cents to $4.14.