Stock Market Today: Stocks Drop as Strong Retail Sales Lower Rate-Cut Hopes

Consumer spending remained surprisingly strong in December, data from the Census Bureau showed.

close up of blue stock market chart with red and green candlestick bars
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks closed lower again Wednesday after impressive retail sales data lowered expectations for a March rate cut. Today's earnings reports did little to lift investor sentiment, with one notable financial firm tumbling on a top-line miss.   

Ahead of the open, data from the Census Bureau showed retail sales rose 0.6% from November to December and were up 5.6% on an annual basis. The results came in higher than economists were expecting thanks to a holiday-related pop in sales at clothing and general merchandise stores.

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Karee Venema
Senior Investing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is the senior investing editor at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.