Dow falls 1.3% to break streak of records

NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks tumbled on Dec 20, halting a weeks-long rally as markets weighed disappointing FedEx results against better-than-expected consumer confidence data.

Shares of FedEx sank around 12 per cent as the transport company lowered its fiscal 2024 sales forecast, suggesting weakening demand.

That was countered by a Conference Board survey showing an unexpected surge in consumer confidence in December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a five-day streak of record closes to finish at 37,082.00, down 1.3 per cent or around 475 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.5 per cent to 4,698.35, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.5 per cent as well to 14,777.94.

US stocks have driven higher since late October, following a nearly unbroken path as inflation moderated and the Federal Reserve signaled plans for 2024 interest rate cuts.

“Today’s pullback should be viewed as just a pause from what I would say was an extended price action,” said Mr Angelo Kourkafas, of Edward Jones.

“This is a breather in the markets. With eight weeks of gains, we’re getting a little extended,” he said.

Among individual companies, General Mills shares dropped 3.6 per cent as the food giant warned of a “slower volume recovery” in fiscal 2024, “reflecting a more cautious consumer economic outlook.” AFP

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