U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as investors digested warmer-than-expected retail sales data and slowing manufacturing output growth in the world’s largest economy.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.8%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.5%. The dollar index, which tracks the currency against six of its peers, fell 0.1% and fell 4.7% in November.
Data released on Wednesday showed U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in October, rising 1.3%, after stabilizing in September. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 1% rise.
The sales figures came after department store Target warned of weakening consumer demand and announced a multibillion-dollar cost-cutting plan, with its shares plunging 13% on Wednesday.
“Dwindling savings and increased use of credit is keeping the consumer supported right now,” said Shelby McFaddin, an analyst at Motley Fool Asset Management. Total household debt rose 2.2% to $16.5 billion in the third quarter, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Another batch of data released on Wednesday showed U.S. manufacturing output rose 0.1% in October, slightly less than the 0.2% increase predicted by economists. U.S. industrial output, which includes mining output and utilities in addition to manufacturing output, fell 0.1%. Economists were forecasting a 0.2% rise.
The numbers suggest that the US manufacturing sector is “slowly succumbing to the global malaise”, said Paul Ashworth, chief economist for North America at Capital Economics.
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