Stocks slump after data shows consumer pessimism

STORY: Wall Street tumbled in a broad sell-off on Tuesday after data showed the Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropping to the lowest it has been since February of last year.

William Huston, chief investment officer at Bay Street Capital Holdings, said the latest consumer data fueled worries that a recession may be near.

"I think today's decline is primarily driven by consumer sentiment still being low, and the decline is being led primarily by the megacaps. In terms of why it's happening, I think it's the same narrative that we've been hearing a lot of this is eyes on inflation... I think that a recession is likely. I think that that is likely in the near term. But again, that's the narrative that we've been hearing and that is why consumer confidence is low.”

All three major U.S. stock indexes closed sharply lower, with the Dow falling 1.56% lower. The S&P 500 fell 2.01%, while the Nasdaq dropped 2.98%.

The S&P 500 is on track for its biggest first-half percentage drop since 1970.

On Tuesday, falling share prices of Amazon, Microsoft and Apple were the heaviest drags on the benchmark index.

Nike shares slid 6.99% following a lower than expected revenue forecast.

But shares of Occidental Petroleum jumped, after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said it had purchased more shares of the oil company, raising its stake to more than 16%.