With the Federal Reserve meeting next week, Wall Street weighed several data reports released today to gauge the impact of a rate hike.
As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 220 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,354 at the opening bell, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.1 percent to 2,029. The S&P 500 Retail Industry Group Index fell 0.8 percent to 1,283.
Vince Holding Corp., after lowering guidance after the market closed, was down 14.2 percent to $4.84. Other decliners included Avon Products with a 3 percent fall to $4.15 and Alibaba Group, which shed 3.8 percent after it revealed a media deal.
U.S. producer prices jumped in November due higher costs of services. Analysts said the ongoing trend line shows softer inflation. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said core retail sales gained 0.6 percent in November, which followed a 0.2 percent gain in October. Investors also looked at declining oil prices.
With consumer spending, shoppers appear to be continuing their nesting habits. Craig R. Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, said the core retail sales for the month were driven by home goods and home improvement, up 4.9 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. And as November was the kick off of the holiday shopping season, a strong performer was toys, which Johnson estimated grew 10.5 percent in the month. Some of the key items were Star Wars-related goods.
“Apparel and accessories was in the ditch, down 1.6 percent year over year, due to the outerwear debacle [warm weather related], near-collapse of the traditional missy market and deep weakness in handbags and watches,” he said adding that off-price is “still robust” and December is “actually shaping up a little better in much of the country – outside of tourist destinations like New York City/Fifth Avenue, Woodbury Commons, Orlando.”