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Trump just sent the wrong message on a brutal day in the stock markets

Brian Sozzi

On a brutal day in the stock markets the last thing investors want to see is another attack on the Federal Reserve by President Donald Trump.

But that’s precisely what they got. Trump reportedly told a group of reporters on Tuesday that he would like to see lower interest rates from the Federal Reserve. The president added that the biggest problem right now isn’t the trade war with China (among other geopolitical issues), but rather the Jerome Powell led Federal Reserve.

Trump’s comments likely sent a negative signal to investors already worried about slowing global growth and plunging tech stocks such as Apple.

“I don’t think the president’s comments on the Federal Reserve are helpful to anybody, particularly the general investor,” JMP Securities President Mark Lehmann said on Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round. “They [investors] want the Federal Reserve to do their job.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session down 551 points despite upbeat earnings reports from retailers like Target and Kohl’s. Selling pressure continued in FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google) stocks. Meanwhile, the iShares Transportation Average — viewed as a bellwether ETF — dropped 3%. It’s now down 10% in the past three months.

Here are several things you missed on The Final Round on Tuesday.

What we saw

Tough day for the markets means a host of tweet-worthy stats thrown around on the show:

  • 546 new lows on the New York Stock Exchange. Hat tip to Yahoo Finance’s markets guru Jared Blikre @SPYJared for that one.
  • Facebook (FB), Nvidia (NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) all finished in the green. Those looking for a short-term market bottom should keep an eye on these names. They have led the market lower, so another session in the green would be a positive. Nvidia is down 35% in the past month.
  • Worst Dow performer was Apple (AAPL) with a 5% decline. Wall Street continues to attack the iPhone maker due to a mixed sales outlook for the smartphone. On Tuesday, that attack came from Goldman Sachs who said the stock is likely to be dead money for the next year.

Hot topic: retail beatdown

Target (TGT) got the short end of the stick on Tuesday, as @JenSaidIt, @MylesUdland and yours truly discussed. The discount retailer came up short versus Wall Street profit forecasts for the third quarter. On a call with analysts, Target Chief Financial Officer Cathy Smith warned of more profit pressure during the fourth quarter as Target lowers prices and tries to ship products faster.

But the market may have acted unfairly to Target’s results. After all, the company put up a blistering 49% online sales increase. Further, third-quarter same-store sales clocked in at a 5.1% increase compared to rival Walmart (WMT) U.S.’s 3.4% gain.

Watch your back, Amazon (AMZN).


Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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