Moderna, Carnival, and Match Have a Lot to Do With S&P 500’s Pullback From August Peak

Carnival Cruises, like other cruise lines, has struggled to reboot its business in the wake of the pandemic.


Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

The stock market staged a rally in mid-August, fueled by better-than-feared economic indicators.

But that enthusiasm quickly cooled following the release of downbeat housing and manufacturing data, prompting investors to take a step back to ponder the Federal Reserve’s next step in the fight to curb inflation.

The



S&P 500

closed at its highest point since April 2022 on Aug. 16. Since then, the index has dropped 4.1% as of Tuesday’s close, and was wavering on Wednesday. Key for investors will be Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on Friday, when he is expected to indicate whether the central bank is taking a more hawkish or dovish approach.

“U.S. stocks edged lower after a wrath of weakening economic data and after Macy’s wasn’t that pessimistic about the consumer,” wrote Oanda analyst Edward Moya. “Financial markets will remain in choppy waters until Fed Chair Powell’s Jackson hole speech on Friday. He may struggle to convince markets that he is comfortable with tightening policy and triggering a recession.”

The recent market contraction has hit some stocks harder than others as market volatility has spurred investors to focus on financial fundamentals, according to Chicago-based investment firm RMB Capital.

These are some of the stocks that have declined the most since the S&P 500’s August peak.

No. 1. Moderna

After a meteoric pandemic rise,



Moderna

(



MRNA

) shares have fizzled as the vaccine boom comes to an end. Analysts are expecting Covid-19 vaccine sales to halve for Moderna and competitor Pfizer (PFE) between 2022 and 2023. But unlike Pfizer, which has a pipeline of medications, Moderna relies greatly on its Covid-19 medication, putting it in a vulnerable spot going forward. The shares have declined 15.6% from Aug. 16 to Wednesday.

2. Advance Auto Parts



Advance Auto Parts

(



AAP

) was plummeted 10% on Wednesday after the auto products retailer trimmed its full-year guidance, bringing its eight-day decline down to 15.1%. The company said high inflation and rising fuel prices will continue to pressure its do-it-yourself segment throughout the second half of the year.

3. Match Group



Match Group

(



MTCH

) has fallen 14% over the span of the last eight days. The stock had been pulling back since the beginning of August, when the company’s second-quarter earnings and outlook fell short of expectations.

4. Carnival

Cruise line operator



Carnival

(



CCL

) has lost 12.8% from Aug. 16 to Wednesday. Cruise ships have struggled to reboot in the wake of the pandemic. Some travelers are still wary of hopping on a cruise while Covid-19 is still circulating, while others have been put off by the stringent biosecurity measures cruises have undertaken to curb the spread.

5. Walgreens Boots Alliance

Shares of



Walgreens Boots Alliance

(



WBA

) have fallen 12.5% since the S&P’s August peak, and was trading nearly 2% lower on Wednesday. Investors are growing increasingly concerned that rising interest rates and inflation may have an outsized impact on retailers, which are slated to feel the pinch as shoppers curb back spending activity.

Write to Sabrina Escobar at sabrina.escobar@barrons.com

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