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Dow Takes Biggest Plunge Since Start of the Pandemic

The Dow Jones dropped more than 1,100 points Wednesday.

stock traders stares at monitor
The stock market is getting hit hard.
Getty Images

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by more than 1,100 points Wednesday to close out the day down 3.57%, to 31,490.07. This marked the biggest negative day for the markets since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. 

Retail stocks took the brunt of the sell-off following big-box retailer Target's earnings report, which didn't meet analysts' expectations. Target shares were down roughly 24% when the markets closed, at just more than $161 a share. 

Walmart shares also took a hit, with shares down close to 7% at around $122. The retail giant also missed its earnings expectations on Tuesday. Other retailers losing value on Wednesday included Dollar Tree, Costco Wholesale, Walgreens, Home Depot and online retailer Etsy. 

This is the fifth Dow decline of more than 800 points this year, all of which have occurred within the past month, according to CNBC. The market appears to be reacting to concerns over inflation as well as Target and Walmart reportedly both citing higher transportation and labor costs. 

"It's clear that transportation costs matter and they're impacting [some of] the largest companies," Kim Forrest, founder of Bokeh Capital, told CNBC. "So I think investors are scratching our heads going, 'So, who's next?' And they're giving visibility into what's happening with the consumer."

The Nasdaq saw a drop of more than 566 points at the end of trading, and the S&P 500 dropped by 165 points.