Another gloomy day on Wall Street brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average below 29,000 Friday for the first time since November 2020, as all three major indexes closed the third quarter with sharp losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 500.1 points, or 1.71% to close at 28,725.51. The S&P 500 dropped 54.85 points, or 1.51% to 3,585.62, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 161.89 points, or 1.51%, to 10,575.62.
The three major indexes notched their worst first nine months since 2002, with the Dow down 21% year to date, the S&P 500 down 24.8% and the Nasdaq down 32.4%, MarketWatch noted.
The Dow was down 2.9% for the week and 8.8% in September. The S&P 500 fell 2.9% for the week and 9.3% for the month, and the Nasdaq’s weekly and monthly losses were 2.7% and 10.5%, respectively.
Carnival Corp. led Friday’s losses with a 23.25% drop to its lowest point since 1992 after the cruise line reported a quarterly loss of $770 million, or 65 cents a share.
Shares of Nike also dropped sharply, shedding 12.81% after the company said it would discount items in response to a glut of inventory that is up 44% overall and 65% in North America.
Friday’s market losses came as the Commerce Department reported a key economic indicator showed inflation was higher than expected in August, with Personal Consumption Expenditures rising 0.6% in August and 4.9% from a year ago.
Federal Reserve officials have been consistent in their commitment to fighting inflation with ongoing interest rate increases, roiling markets with fears of a recession.
On Friday, Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard echoed her support for ongoing restrictive monetary policy after Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester and St. Louis Fed president James Bullard made similar statements Thursday.
“It’s been a tough, tough environment for equities and fixed income both, something that we had expected given our views around the Fed keeping interest rates higher for longer and markets are starting to come around to that view,” said Zachary Hill, head of portfolio management at Horizon Investments, according to CNBC.
“In the near term, we are likely to have continued market volatility with a downward bias as we head into earnings season.”
Many anticipate another increase to the benchmark federal funds rate in November, after a fourth consecutive increase Sept. 21 brought the rate to the range of 3% to 3.25%.
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