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PORTFOLIO MANAGER COMMENTARY
Stocks fell sharply Thursday after new data showed retail sales declined more than expected in November. This raised fears that the Federal Reserve’s relentless interest rate hikes are tipping the economy into a recession.
The sell-off was broad as only 14 stocks in the S&P 500 ending the day with gains. Blue chip tech stocks declined, with shares of Apple and Alphabet down more than 4%, while Amazon and Microsoft were lower by more than 3%. Shares of Netflix fell 8.6% following a Digiday report that said the streaming firm is offering to return money to advertisers after missing viewership targets.
CHART OF THE DAY
The November decline in retail sales—which includes spending at stores, online and at restaurants—marked an abrupt shift in spending, at least for goods. Shoppers spent less in November on holiday categories including electronics, clothing and sporting goods. Spending on autos and furniture also fell sharply, though gasoline sales fell slightly. The pullback occurred online and at department stores in a month that encompasses Thanksgiving, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.