Shares of retailers and other consumer companies fell sharply amid concerns about the implications of rising Covid 19 cases in the U.S.
A Commerce Department report confirmed a sharp increase in U.S. household spending bounced back in June as consumers shelled out more on services at the start of the summer, but a current upswing in Covid-19 cases related to the Delta variant is injecting uncertainty into the economic outlook.
Walmart is requiring corporate staffers and regional managers to get vaccinated for Covid-19 and is reinstating a mask mandate for workers in U.S. counties deemed at high risk of Covid transmission.
Inflation concerns are building among corporations and consumers. Procter & Gamble said it would hike prices to compensate for increases in commodity and ingredient costs. Shares of the consumer-products giant rose.
Rival Colgate-Palmolive said profit rose in the second quarter, benefiting from a rise in revenue, but cost pressures are expected to continue into the second half of the year.
International Consolidated Airlines Group said it was prepared to take advantage of a surge in air travel demand in line with increasing vaccination rates. Luxury concerns continued to register strong earnings, with Hermes the latest to post sales above prepandemic levels.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires