US stocks end lower on interest rates, pandemic worries

At the close, the Dow Jones fell 532 points to 35,365, while the S&P 500 fell 48 points to 4,621 and the tech-rich Nasdaq slipped 11 points to 15,170.

4:05 p.m .: Dow returns more than 500 points

U.S. stocks ended the trading session lower, with investors worried about the economic impact of the Omicron variant and a tightening of monetary policy next year.

At the close, the Dow Jones fell 532 points to 35,365, while the S&P 500 fell 48 points to 4,621 and the tech-rich Nasdaq slipped 11 points to 15,170.

Notable players included shares of FedEx (NYSE: FDX) Corp, which climbed more than 5% after the parcel delivery giant reported better-than-expected second-quarter financial results and announced a share buyback. of $ 5 billion.

1:20 p.m .: US stocks fall amid interest rate concerns

US stocks fell in volatile afternoon trading as investors weighed the potential impact of policy changes from the world’s largest central banks on inflation and growth.

The S&P 500 was down 0.8% to 4,631, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.3%, or 454 points, after dropping more than 600 points in morning trading.

The Nasdaq Composite Index has cut past losses and flirted with the flat line, recently falling around 0.1%.

“While the initial reaction to the Fed’s move was positive, almost exuberant, as Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and Thursday’s Bank of England hike recede in the past, investors seem be much more cautious, envisioning a year ahead when the tide of central bank largesse definitely begins to wane, ”said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform firm IG.

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10am: US stocks start firmly in the red

US stocks started firmly in the red at the end of the week as markets reflected on the Fed’s accelerated cut, the latest developments in the coronavirus (COVID-19) and rising inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell around 416 points to stand at 35,481 in the first trades in New York. The S&P 500 lost about 37 points to settle at 4,631. The technology-laden Nasdaq fell about 94 points to 15,086.

Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at ThinkMarkets, said today’s focus on trading remains on technology stocks.

The Nasdaq on Wednesday surrendered all of its gains made as a result of the FOMC’s policy move, fearing that the Fed’s policy tightening could reduce the attractiveness of low-yielding growth stocks, especially those whose valuations are overvalued Sentiment has not been helped in the sector by insider selling lately, “the analyst noted.

“The coming week is going to be pretty quiet from a macro perspective, with only a handful of scheduled events to look forward to,” he added.

“Investors will also keep a close eye on the coronavirus situation as the omicron continues to spread like wildfire. The latest moves to curb the infection rate are likely to hurt economic activity a bit, which should keep pressure on all kinds of risky assets, including crude oil and commodity dollars. Thus, volatility is expected to remain elevated over the coming week despite a calmer macroeconomic calendar. “

6:30 am: US equities open to the downside

U.S. stocks are expected to end the week back, as concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19), soaring inflation, and the prospect of an interest rate hike in 2022 resulted in a turnover in tech stocks. rate sensitive and in financial services and consumer staples.

Futures contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.15% on Friday before market, while the larger S&P 500 index fell 0.37% and those on the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 lost 0.87%.

Stocks fell on Thursday, dragged down by major tech stocks, pushing the Nasdaq Composite 2.47% to 15,180. The Dow Jones fell 0.08% to 35,898 and the S&P 500 was down 0, 87% to 4,669.

“After a few days of generally hawkish actions by central banks, investors turned to more economically sensitive sectors to the detriment of growth,” commented Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at Interactive Investor.

“As such, the Nasdaq in the US has taken the brunt of the selling pressure, while financials and utilities have received some support. More generally, there were other indications to justify the Federal Reserve’s statement that the economy no longer needs increasing amounts of monetary support. Factory production was at its highest level for nearly three years, as there has been only a marginal increase in jobless claims, where employment remains a key part of the Fed’s strategy over the next few months. “

Faced with future volatility as monetary support is reduced and the economy is left to fend for itself, Hunter noted that the markets have made great strides. Since the start of the year, the Dow Jones is still ahead by 17.3%, the S&P by 24.3% and the Nasdaq by 17.8%.

Stephen V. Lee