Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks are likely to move mostly lower in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to initial weakness on Wall Street, with the Dow futures down by 303 points.

The Dow appears poised to extend a recent downtrend, which has seen the blue chip index close lower for four straight sessions and seven out of the past nine.

The drop seen on Thursday pulled the Dow down to its lowest closing level in over a month, down 3.6 percent from the record intraday high set last month.

Concerns about the outlook for monetary policy may continue 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 may be somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Looking ahead, 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.

Stocks turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday following the broad-based weakness seen on Wednesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a notable rebound, while the Dow extended a recent downward trend.

The major averages ended the day on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq advanced 121.67 points or 0.9 percent to 14,161.35, the Dow slid 210.22 points or 0.6 percent to 33,823.45 and the S&P 500 edged down 1.84 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,221.86.

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 have all moved sharply lower on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has tumbled by 1.5 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 1.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are sliding $0.70 to $70.34 a barrel after tumbling $1.11 to $71.04 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after plummeting $86.60 to $1,774.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $3.60 to $1,778.40 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.23 yen versus the 110.21 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1886 compared to yesterday’s $1.1907.

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