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Black Friday at Target in 2016. Photo: Aydin Palabiyikoglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Target shares fell as much as 11% this morning after it narrowly missed analyst expectations for the quarter, as massive selling took all three major U.S. stock indices underwater for the year.

The big picture: In trading this morning, the Dow, the S&P and Nasdaq all wiped out their gains for the year. Retail stocks were hit hard just three days before Black Friday, the biggest brick-and-mortar shopping event of the year.

The other side: Many traditional retailers have reported strong sales growth quarter after quarter this year — Target reported today that sales surged 5.1% in the third quarter, for example.

  • The National Retail Federation projects U.S. holiday spending this season to reach an all-time high. It says Americans will spend 4.1% more this year than last.

The bottom line: Markets are jittery amid the U.S.-driven trade war, slowing global economic growth and a cloud around Big Tech. That U.S. economic fundamentals appear strong has not seemed to matter to Wall Street investors.

Go deeper

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The rise of vaccine passports

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.

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