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U.S. stocks cascaded Thursday morning as recession jitters returned to Wall Street after a fleeting relief bounce in the previous session spurred by the Bank of England’s bond-buying move.
The S&P 500 plummeted 1% early into the session, while the Dow Jones Industrial erased more than 200 points, or around 0.8%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite sank 1.4%.
On the economic data front, initial jobless claims slid to 193,000, the lowest since April, in the week ended Sept. 24 from a downwardly revised 213,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists called for 215,000 claims, according to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Elsewhere, a third reading from the Commerce Department on gross domestic product (GDP) showed U.S. economic activity contracted at an annualized 0.6%.
In corporate news, CarMax (KMX) shares tumbled 14% after the vehicle buyer reported second quarter earnings that missed Wall Street estimates, citing “affordability challenges” that weighed on sales.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) fell on Thursday after the company posted a wider quarterly loss as persistent merchandising and inventory snafus and inflationary pressures hit the home goods retailer. Shares fell about 2%.
The renewed risk-off mood places all three major averages on pace to give up gains that came after England’s central bank said Wednesday it would resume bond purchases to help stabilize financial and currency markets. Investors celebrated the shift away from aggressive policy tightening by officials in recent months. The S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq each rallied roughly 2%.
EY Parthenon Chief Economist Gregory Daco said in a note that “the absence of proper policy coordination along with the speed and synchronization of rate hikes” risks an “excessive and disorderly tightening of financial conditions.”
“In the UK, the economic outlook has recently taken a turn for the worse with the release of Prime Minister Liz Truss’ budget leading to a market rout, with treasury yields surging to their highest since 2010 and the British pound plunging to its lowest level in 37 years,” Daco said.
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