Wall Street slides after Fed minutes show split over taper

Stocks on Wall Street fell nearly across the board Wednesday following the release of minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The minutes suggested the central bank could begin tapering its massive bond purchases this year, but policy makers were split over when to pull back the monetary stimulus.

Summit Place Financial Advisors President Liz Miller says other factors are also impacting investor sentiment.

“I think investors are really most focused on more macro trends right now. Certainly the developments around the Delta variant across our economy. Today there continues to be some pressures of geopolitical risks in a number of places around the world.”

Amid mixed earnings reports from the retail sector, the Dow and S&P 500 fell 1%, and the Nasdaq shed nine-tenths of a percent.

Topping the S&P’s list of gainers: Lowe’s. Investors stocked up on its shares, driving them nearly 10% higher. The home improvement chain’s quarterly same-store sales jumped 21%. It also issued a bullish outlook as professional builders boosted sales just as demand from its do-it-yourself customers waned.

Shares of off-price retailer TJX jumped over 5%. Quarterly net sales of the operator of TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores rose 81%, beating estimates. Target shares tumbled nearly 3%. The big-box chain’s digital comparable sales growth slowed considerably from a year earlier. Overall same-store sales growth also cooled.

The retail reports will continue Thursday with department store chain Macy’s announcing its results.

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