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* U.S. retail sales flat in July; core sales rise
* Retailer Target's quarterly profit slumps
* Indexes down: Dow 0.80%, S&P 1.07%, Nasdaq 1.66%
Aug 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes fell on
Wednesday as growth stocks came under pressure after bond yields
climbed ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve's July
meeting, while weak results from Target dragged the retail
Retail earnings have been mixed so far this week, with
Target Corp falling 3.3% after reporting a 90% slump in
quarterly earnings as its inflation-hit customers reined in
spending on discretionary goods.
The S&P 500 retail sector declined 1.7%, after
jumping 1.9% in the previous session on encouraging quarterly
earnings from Walmart Inc and Home Depot Inc.
Data showed U.S. retail sales were unchanged in July as
declining gasoline prices weighed on receipts at service
stations. However, consumer spending appeared to be holding up,
which could further ease fears the economy was in recession.
High-growth and technology stocks such as Amazon.com Inc
and Nvidia Corp fell more than 2.5% each as
U.S. Treasury yields rose for the second straight session.
Investors anticipate that the Fed minutes will likely
reaffirm the central bank's focus on hiking rates until
inflation is under control.
"We've got a long way to go to get down from an 8% inflation
print to somewhere where normalized rates are," said Charlie
Ryan, portfolio manager at Evercore Wealth Management.
"The biggest risk is what do we do if we get a bad inflation
print this month without the Fed meeting."
Most of the major S&P 500 sectors were trading in the red by
mid-day, while energy stocks edged higher tracking gains
in crude prices.
The S&P 500 has recovered nearly 17% from its mid-June lows,
with the latest boost coming from hopes that inflation has
peaked after softer-than-expected data earlier this month.
The benchmark index also came close to breaking above its
200-day moving average on Tuesday, a key technical level it has
not closed above since early April.
Traders see a near equal chance of a 50 basis-point and a 75
basis-point hike by the Fed in September.
At 12:03 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 273.08 points, or 0.80%, at 33,878.93, the S&P 500
was down 45.89 points, or 1.07%, at 4,259.31, and the
Nasdaq Composite was down 217.65 points, or 1.66%, at
Upbeat corporate earnings have also helped fuel a rebound
for U.S. stocks this quarter, but some investors are pointing to
potential risks ahead for profits that could sap momentum.
Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc rose 0.8% on
posting a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 6.06-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and a 3.96-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and 29 new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 24 new highs and 41 new lows.
(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar, Devik Jain and Sruthi
Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)