STORY: Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday, the second session of losses in a row following a three-day rally last week, with a big warning coming from one of corporate America's prominent executives and, late the day, a big job change from another.
Sheryl Sandberg, one of the world’s most visible female executives, announced late Wednesday that she will be leaving her post as chief operating officer at Facebook-owner Meta Platforms after 14 years with the company, sending shares sharply lower.
Earlier on Wednesday, investors digested a dire warning from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon who – at an investor conference – described the challenges facing the U.S. economy as a looming "hurricane," saying: "That hurricane is right out there down the road coming our way. We just don't know if it's a minor one or Superstorm Sandy... You got to brace yourself."
That added to fears the Federal Reserve – in its effort to tame inflation – could slow the economy too much.
Meanwhile, positive economic data out Wednesday fed that negative narrative.
Jim Bruderman, vice chairman at 1879 Advisors, explains.
"We had some surprisingly strong numbers in both employment and in the manufacturing data. And I think that provides a little concern among investors because there's no reason for the Fed to tap on the brakes. And I think part of investors inflation fears or rather, part of investors recession fears is that the Fed's going to overdo it on the rate hikes and potentially could push us into a recession."
As for the major indexes, the Dow lost about half a percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each ended about three quarters of a percent lower.
On a positive note, shares of Salesforce jumped nearly 10% after the enterprise software firm raised its profit outlook for year.