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Fed Warns of Short-Term Risks to Recovery

Stock markets dropped Tuesday following retail sales figures that came in below expectations, signaling weakness in the economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 167 points, or 0.6 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 17 points, or 0.5 percent.

US retail sales increased less than expected in October according to the Commerce Department. Retail sales rose 0.3% last month, compared to expectations that they would increase by 0.5%. Data for September was revised down to show sales surging 1.6% instead of shooting up 1.9% as previously reported.

Weak October retail sales point to short-term risks to the U.S. economy as coronavirus infections surge and families “get to the edge” of cash reserves set aside from now-expired government aid programs.

`We have short-term and immediate-term concerns with the spike in the virus and what that is going to do in terms of businesses and the things that they are able to produce, in terms of consumers in terms of their willingness to go out and buy things.”

“That is paired with some medium-term positive signs…The vaccine is definitely positive news and it will definitely lead to a pretty robust recovery once it gets into the population deep enough.

“We are going to be paying really close attention to the numbers moving forward to see whether this weakness in retail sales translates into something deeper” Bostic said.

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