U.S. stocks opened in sharp decline on Wednesday, continuing losses into a fourth day, as an intensifying thrashing of commodities and disappointing retail sales increased worry that the global economy is slowing.
“Although consumers are saving at the pump, it doesn’t look like they are spending it at the stores; retail sales are an unmitigated disaster,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said.
Already sharply lower, stock futures fell harder ahead of the opening bell after the Commerce Department reported retail sales slid the most in a year last month, down 0.9 percent.
JPMorgan Chase dropped in early New York trading after reporting a decline in fourth-quarter profit; Wells Fargo also fell after the mortgage lender posted results in line with expectations.
“The good news is that the ECB (European Central Bank) got a positive ruling last night so they can move forward with quantitative easing, unfortunately the bad news is JPMorgan reported a sloppy number,” Hogan said.
The ongoing decline in the price of crude extended to metals, with the price of copper stumbling as the World Bank reduced its global growth forecast, pointing to soft expansion in Europe and China.
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