After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks continue to see considerable weakness in mid-day trading on Friday. With the drop on the day, the Dow has fallen to its lowest intraday level in well over two months.

Currently, the major averages are off their lows of the session but still firmly negative. The Dow is down 393.68 points or 1.2 percent at 33,429.77, the Nasdaq is down 113.15 points or 0.8 percent at 14,048.20 and the S&P 500 is down 39.72 points or 0.9 percent at 4,182.14.

The Dow is extending 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 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.

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.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks have moved sharply lower over the course of the session, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 2.2 percent.

Considerable weakness has also emerged among networking stocks, as reflected by the 1.8 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Networking Index.

Banking stocks have climbed off their worst levels of the day but also continue to see significant weakness, with the KBW Bank Index down by 1.8 percent after hitting its lowest intraday level in almost two months.

Brokerage, computer hardware and oil stocks are also seeing notable weakness in mid-day trading, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

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 are extending 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, is down by 4.8 basis points at 1.463 percent.

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