Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. With the drop on the day, the Dow ended the session at its lowest closing level in over two months.
The major averages came under pressure going into the close, with the Dow and the S&P 500 hitting new lows for the session. The Dow tumbled 533.37 points or 1.6 percent to 33,290.08, the Nasdaq slid 130.97 points or 0.9 percent to 14,030.38 and the S&P 500 slumped 55.41 points or 1.3 percent to 4,166.45.
For the week, the Dow plunged by 3.4 percent, the S&P 500 tumbled by 1.9 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by 0.3 percent.
The Dow extended a recent downtrend, which saw the blue chip index close lower for the fifth straight sessions and eight out of the past ten.
Concerns about the outlook for monetary policy continued to weigh on the markets following the Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday.
The Fed’s forecast for two interest rates hikes in 2023 has led to speculation that the central bank will soon start tapering its asset purchases.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would provide “advance notice” before making any changes to its asset purchases, but traders remain on edge about stocks losing a key layer of support.
Overall trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.
Brokerage stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the session, dragging the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index down by 2.7 percent to its lowest closing level in a month.
Substantial weakness was also visible among oil stocks, reflected by the 2.8 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Oil Index.
The weakness in the oil sector came despite a rebound by the price of crude oil, with crude for July delivery climbing $0.60 to $71.64 a barrel after tumbling $1.11 to $71.04 a barrel on Thursday.
Natural gas, gold and networking stocks also saw considerable weakness on the day, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved sharply lower on the day. While French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.8 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries extended the notable upward move seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 6.1 basis points to a three-month closing low of 1.450 percent.
Next week’s trading may be impacted by reaction to reports on new and existing home sales, durable goods orders and personal income and spending as well as Congressional testimony by Powell.
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