US stocks saw accelerating losses at midday on Tuesday, as a week full of retail trade began to show continued consumer resilience in the United States, while China painted a bleak picture for the world’s second largest economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) were both down around 0.8%% while the Nasdaq Heavy Composite (^IXIC) was down 0.7%.
The moves added to the pressure on stocks in a dismal August after indices had a rebounding day on Monday, with the Nasdaq up more than 1%.
Home Depot (HD) kicked off the retail earnings week by beating estimates but warning of “continued pressure” on consumers, as the company said customers were pushing back on home renovation projects. Target (TGT) is up next Wednesday, while Walmart (WMT) reports Thursday.
However, retail sales figures released Tuesday morning indicated continued health for the US consumer. Retail sales rose 0.7% in July from the previous month, more than Wall Street’s estimate for growth of 0.4%.
Meanwhile, China reported a further decline in the health of its economy. China’s central bank unexpectedly cut a range of key interest rates in an effort to stimulate growth in its ailing economy. Notably, it also stopped publishing youth unemployment data after months of volatility.