Dow falls 546 points as consumer stocks dragged by supply-chain worries to close 3rd quarter

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© Reuters Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York. Reuters

  • Major stock indexes turned lower to close in the red Thursday. The Dow was down nearly 550 points.
  • Consumer stocks dropped as supply-chain worries hit shares of Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s.
  • Wall Street’s major indexes dropped in September.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

All three major indexes ended lower Thursday as worries about global supply-chain problems contributed to a decline in consumer stocks, though the S&P 500 managed to notch a modest win for the third quarter.

The S&P 500 and the Dow each ended lower, with retailing stocks hurt after Bed Bath & Beyond cut its yearly sales outlook and Kohl’s suffered a double ratings downgrade at Bank of America to underperform. Shares in each company plunged. The Dow fell nearly 550 points.

The S&P 500 pulled out a slight quarterly gain but suffered in September, its first monthly loss this year. The Dow and the Nasdaq dropped for the month.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday:

The S&P 500’s consumer staples and discretionary indexes were among the worst-performing as backed up shipping ports and other supply bottlenecks affecting nearly all industries cropped back into focus for retail stocks. BofA said a sales recovery at Kohl’s may be threatened by snarled supply chains and Bed Bath & Beyond cited that issue, rising costs, and resurgent COVID-19 fears as pressure points for its business.

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Home Depot fell on the Dow index and Target, which it says is the second-largest importer in the US, also declined.

From the labor market, weekly jobless claims reported early Thursday rose to 362,000, a third straight increase that missed the 335,000 consensus estimate from Econoday. But the Federal Reserve may still be on course to start reducing purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities from $120 billion a month.

“We remain focused on the evolution of monetary policy and expect the Federal Reserve to lay out the pace and timing of adjustments to the bond purchase program (tapering) in the fourth quarter as they weigh recent inflation readings against the longer-term goal of price stability,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, in a note to Insider.

Around the markets, billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya has invested millions of dollars into bitcoin and believes it’s tough to impose a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, he said CNBC.

The US network of bitcoin ATMs is vulnerable to hacks, says crypto exchange Kraken.

Gold rose 1.8% to $1,757.80 per ounce. Oil prices turned higher, with West Texas Intermediate crude up 0.6% to $75.25 per barrel.

Bitcoin jumped 5.2% to $43,664.59.

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