Warnings of slower sales drive US stocks lower

August 16, 2013 10:53:01 AM PDT
Warnings of weaker sales from two major companies and concern that the Federal Reserve will soon start withdrawing its support for the economy is making investors jittery.

That sent the stock market tumbling yesterday.

The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 225 points, its worst day in nearly two months. The S&P 500 index fell 24 points and the Nasdaq composite index fell 63.

Before the start of trading, Wal-Mart cut its estimates for annual revenue and profit, warning that cautious shoppers are spending less. The news followed a disappointing revenue forecast from Cisco Systems late Wednesday.

In a twist, more signs of resilience in the U.S. economy drove long-term interest rates to their highest level in two years and wound up rattling the stock market. Reports on inflation and the job market appeared to raise the odds that the Fed would begin winding down its massive bond-buying program next month.

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