Wall Street retreats from record highs on Fed concerns

A deadly bomb blast in Afghanistan briefly rattled the markets Thursday, and then later, fears of faster tapering of the Federal Reserve’s bond purchase program that caused Wall Street to snap its streak of record closing highs.

Hawkish regional Fed presidents James Bullard, Esther George and Robert Kaplan urged the central bank to begin paring bond purchases, downplaying the impact of the Delta variant on the economy.

But Patrick Fruzzetti of Rose Advisors at Hightower says Fed Chair Jerome Powell will probably not tip his hand on a taper timetable at his highly anticipated speech at the Jackson Hole symposium Friday.

“I honestly doubt he'll provide any road map. I think you know there's still a concern about the Delta variant. I still don't think they fully understand what the effects of it will be.”

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all fell more than a half percent.

Some strong earnings reports helped stem the losses.

Coty shares jumped nearly 15%. The cosmetics maker forecast its first annual sales growth in at least three years. Revenue nearly doubled as more people dressed up and put on makeup and fragrances to return to the office and classroom.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch slid over 10%. Weak digital sales and disappointing sales at its Hollister brand caused the retailer’s net sales to fall short of analysts' estimates.

Shares of discounters Dollar Tree and Dollar General fell sharply after they warned surging transportation costs will hurt their profits.

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