Walmart profit warning hammers retail stocks

STORY: Shares of U.S. retailers tumbled on Tuesday after industry bellwether Walmart cut its full-year profit forecast, stoking fears of similar warnings from a sector struggling with the impact of high inflation on consumer spending.

Shares of e-commerce giant Amazon fell more than 4% in early trading, while Nike sank 3%.

Kroger, Best Buy, Costco, Target and Home Depot all saw similar losses Tuesday morning.

And U.S.-listed shares of Shopify slumped more than 15% after the Canadian online retailer said it would cut 10% of its workforce as it struggles with sales growth.

Some analysts said they expect outlook downgrades across the retail space, with brands focused on lower- and middle-income consumers weakening the most.

Analysts at Jefferies said Walmart's outlook provided "a diagnostic look at the average American household," showing that consumers are digesting higher prices of food and essentials by lowering spending on discretionary items, like apparel.

Walmart, the nation's largest retailer and biggest private employer, said annual profit could fall by as much as 13%, adding that it would cut prices of clothing and general merchandise more aggressively to attract investors.