U.S. Stocks Fall Ahead of Fed’s July Meeting Minutes

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Investing.com — U.S. stocks fell in morning trading after retailing giant Target reported weak quarterly earnings and as investors awaited the Fed’s July meeting minutes for clues about the direction of interest rates.

At 10:41 ET (14:41 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 199 points, or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 was down 0.8% and the NASDAQ Composite fell 1.4%.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) said earnings plunged 90% because cash-strapped shoppers, grappling with inflation, held back on buying nonessential goods and forced it to slash prices.

The report was in contrast to optimistic reports on Tuesday from Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) and Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD).

Retail sales were unchanged in July from the prior year, slightly below predictions for a 0.1% gain, and spending trends appeared solid. That could bolster confidence that conditions aren’t rapidly deteriorating. Lower gasoline prices helped keep the reading flat from June.

Target did confirm its full year outlook, saying its inventory mark-downs had cleared the way for it to get back on track in time for the holiday shopping season.

Later today, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its July meeting, when it raised interest rates by a 0.75 percentage point for the second month in a row. Investors will be analyzing the comments to see what the Fed’s future moves might be. The next scheduled policy meeting is in September.

In meme stock news, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ:BBBY) stock was up another 21% on Wednesday morning.

Oil inched higher. Crude Oil WTI Futures was up 1.8% to $88.14 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures crude rose 1.3%, to $93.58 a barrel. Gold Futures fell 0.4% to $1,781 an ounce.

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