Stocks finished the day mostly lower on declines in health care and technology stocks, as Apple fell to a level not seen in nearly 2 years. The retail sector also took another hit as Nordstrom stock fell 14% on disappointing 1st quarter earnings. Today’s market news was also highlighted by comments from the President of the Kansas City Federal Bank Esther George who said interest rates are too low for the current U.S. economy and backs gradual rate hikes, adding that low rates can create economic risks.
“I support a gradual adjustment of short-term interest rates toward a more normal level, but I view the current level as too low for today’s economic conditions. The economy is at or near full employment, and inflation is close to the FOMC’s target of 2 percent, yet short-term interest rates remain near historic lows.”
Ester George’s comments came after Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said markets are “underestimating the pace of potential hikes”, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester added that “uncertainty should not prevent the Fed from acting on policy changes.”
Meantime some analysts say that many of the nation’s big retailers are worried about a recession following yesterday’s huge drop in the retail sector.
Here are the final numbers from Thursday, May 12th on Wall Street:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,722.07 (+10.95 / +0.06 %)
NASDAQ: 4,737.33 (-23.35 / -0.49 %)
S&P 500: 2,064.11 (-0.35/ -0.02%)