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Deep Dive: Wednesday’s worst-performing stocks mostly come from this one sector that has investors really worried

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Consumer stocks were hit hard on May 18 as disappointing earnings reports from Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. led to double-digit declines for many retailers.

Market Snapshot: Dow skids 1,100 points and heads for worst day since June 2020 on stagflation fears, higher costs eroding profits

Shares of Target
TGT,
-24.93%

fell 25% after the company reported a 48% decline in earnings per share for its first fiscal quarter from the year-earlier quarter.

Read: Target stock plunges as profit drops on consumer spending shifts and jump in freight costs

Target’s disappointment came after Walmart reported a 24% decline in quarterly profit. Shares of the largest U.S. retailer fell 7% on May 18, following an 11% decline the previous day.

A contagion spread, with shares of Dollar Tree
DLTR,
-14.42%

dropping 14% even though the discount retailer isn’t scheduled to report its quarterly results until May 26.

The worst sector of 2022 is no longer tech

The consumer discretionary sector suffered a 6.6% decline in only one day and hit the trifecta for the worst performance of the session, for the first 13 trading days of May and for 2022.

Here’s a summary of how the 11 sectors of the benchmark S&P 500
SPX,
-4.04%

have performed this year:

S&P 500 sector

Price change – 2022

Price change – May

Price change – May 18

Consumer Discretionary

-30.8%

-12.4%

-6.6%

Communication Services

-27.0%

-1.3%

-3.4%

Information Technology

-24.5%

-6.9%

-4.7%

Real Estate

-19.3%

-10.0%

-2.9%

Financials

-15.2%

-4.0%

-2.8%

Industrials

-13.7%

-4.0%

-3.8%

Materials

-9.6%

-3.6%

-3.2%

Health Care

-9.4%

-1.9%

-2.6%

Consumer Staples

-7.3%

-8.0%

-6.4%

Utilities

-0.3%

0.2%

-1.0%

Energy

46.2%

8.0%

-2.8%

Full S&P 500

-17.7%

-5.0%

-4.0%

Source: FactSet

Stocks that fell the most on May 18

The S&P 500 slumped 4% on May 18 for its worst performance of 2022. Here are the 11 stocks in the benchmark index that fell more than 10% for the session:

Company

Ticker

Price change – May 18

Price change – May

Price change – 2022

Decline from 52-week high

Date of 52-week intraday high

Target Corp.

TGT,
-24.93%

-24.9%

-29.3%

-30.2%

-39.9%

11/15/2021

Dollar Tree Inc.

DLTR,
-14.42%

-14.4%

-17.6%

-4.8%

-24.5%

04/21/2022

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.

ODFL,
-12.97%

-13.0%

-15.6%

-34.0%

-36.7%

12/07/2021

Tractor Supply Co.

TSCO,
-12.52%

-12.5%

-9.8%

-23.9%

-24.8%

03/31/2022

Costco Wholesale Corp.

COST,
-12.45%

-12.5%

-19.2%

-24.4%

-29.9%

04/07/2022

Dollar General Corp.

DG,
-11.11%

-11.1%

-14.8%

-14.2%

-22.9%

04/21/2022

Ulta Beauty Inc.

ULTA,
-10.83%

-10.8%

-11.7%

-15.0%

-20.1%

04/21/2022

Best Buy Co.

BBY,
-10.51%

-10.5%

-15.9%

-25.6%

-46.7%

11/22/2021

J.M. Smucker Co.

SJM,
-10.49%

-10.5%

-6.3%

-5.5%

-12.5%

05/09/2022

Etsy Inc.

ETSY,
-10.47%

-10.5%

-15.4%

-64.0%

-74.4%

11/26/2021

Newell Brands Inc.

NWL,
-10.40%

-10.4%

-10.7%

-5.4%

-31.3%

05/10/2021

Source: FactSet

Click on the tickers for more about each company.

Read Tomi Kilgore’s detailed guide to the wealth of information for free on the MarketWatch quote page.

Market Extra: A ‘summer of pain’? The Nasdaq Composite could plunge 75% from peak, S&P 500 skid 45% from its top, warns Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd.

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