Shares of retailers and other consumer companies ticked down amid fears that a second wave of U.S. Covid-19 infections was slowing consumer activity and could trigger more lockdowns.
Retail sales, which include purchases at stores, restaurants and online, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in October from a month earlier, a substantial slowdown from the 1.6% growth in September, the Commerce Department said.
Slowing job growth, slimming government assistance, new restrictions and the increase in case counts makes it likely that consumer spending will slow from summer levels this winter, said James Sweeney, chief economist at Credit Suisse, as reported earlier.
While vaccine-trial results are promising, the question remains whether the U.S. consumer-based economy can continue growing while the vaccine is awaited, according to Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
The U.S. reported 166,000 new Covid cases for Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, up from more than 133,000 a day earlier.
Walmart's third-quarter same-store sales rose 6.4%, slowing from the previous quarter, even as shoppers continued to buy up food and cleaning supplies and the retailer pushed early holiday deals.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires