Stocks fell Friday as traders looked to close out a terrible week that brought the S&P 500 to a new 2022 low.
The S&P 500 was down 0.69%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 217 points, or 0.74%, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.59% lower.
An inflation report closely watched by the Federal Reserve released Friday showed that prices continued to increase at a rapid pace.
Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard on Friday underscored the need to bring down inflation, saying the central bank is “committed to avoiding pulling back prematurely” on restrictive monetary policy.
Nike shares fell sharply in its worst day since 2001 after the company reported that sales increased, but supply chain and inventory issues hampered the bottom line in its fiscal first quarter. The stock was last down 13%.
Stock sold off Thursday, with the Dow losing more than 1% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each dropping more than 2% as investors weighed concerns over future rate-hiking decisions from the Federal Reserve and the impact on the market.
Those losses put the major averages on pace for sharp weekly losses. The S&P 500 is off 1.5% for the week. The Dow is down 1.5% and the Nasdaq is 1% lower.
“The market stinks,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group. “But that’s basically what the Fed wants: tighten financial conditions, and they believe that that will help bring down inflation to the levels that they find acceptable. And they’re using the transmission mechanism of the market to make that happen.”
Friday also marked the last day of the month and the third quarter. For September, the S&P 500 and Dow are down more than 7% each through Thursday’s close. That would be the worst monthly performance for the Dow since March 2020 and the biggest one-month decline for the S&P 500 since June. The Nasdaq is headed for its biggest monthly loss since April, losing 9.1%.
Quarter to date, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are headed for their first three-quarter losing streak since 2009, losing 4% and 2.7%, respectively. The Dow is down 5.4% in the third quarter and is on pace to post a third-straight losing quarter for the first time since 2015.