US stocks sank on Friday afternoon after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would continue its fight against inflation “until the job is done” to bring the cost of living back to the 2% target.
I see: Fed’s Powell, in blunt remarks in Jackson Hole, says falling inflation will hurt households and businesses
How are shares traded?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
fell 662 points, or 2%, to nearly 32,649.
The S&P 500 SPX,
fell 97 points, or 2.3%, to about 4,101.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
fell 360 points, or 2.9%, to 12,278.
For the week, the Dow is on course for a 3.1% decline, while the S&P 500 is on track for a 2.9% slide and the Nasdaq is poised to lose 3.2%, FactSet data shows, finally checking.
What drives the market?
U.S. stocks fell sharply on Friday, with losses led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated his determination to rein in rising inflation through higher interest rates.
In remarks that seemed even more hawkish than many investors had expected, Powell sought to quash any hope of a less hawkish monetary policy stance by insisting the central bank will stick to its fight against inflation, even if it means cause some short-term financial pain. for American families.
“Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth,” Powell said. “While higher interest rates, slower growth and softer labor market conditions will reduce inflation, they will also bring pain to households and businesses.”
As U.S. stocks fell early Friday afternoon, the S&P 500’s IUIT information technology index,
Communication services SP500.50,
and areas of consumer discretion SP500.25,
seeing the biggest losses, FactSet data show, finally checking. All three regions were down nearly 3% as growth stocks suffered more than their value.
“It seems like investors have literally been at the beach all summer and are oblivious to the problems that exist financially,” Ryan Belanger, founder and chief executive of Claro Advisors, said in a telephone interview on Friday. “This morning, President Powell’s remarks just focused the lens here.”
Jake Jolly, senior investment strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management, said Powell’s remarks reinforced his tough stance.
“The market was clearly set for a hawkish ‘stick to the script’ type of speech, and the initial impression is what President Powell said — and he did it in less than 10 minutes,” Jolley said. “The key is that it closed the door on this idea that there’s going to be a near-term shift in Fed policy.”
Reading: How stocks perform as central bankers gather each year in Jackson Hole
As the selloff accelerated, Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” the CBOE VIX volatility index,
it was about 22. It briefly went up to 24 earlier in the week. Bond yields also rose in response to Powell, with the spread between two-year and 10-year bond yields moving further into inverted territory.
Ahead of Powell’s remarks, a batch of fresh economic data was released, including a reading on the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption-expenditure index. Headline PCE fell 0.1% in July and to 6.3% from 6.8% annually. Core PCE, which excludes food and energy prices and is closely watched by Fed policymakers, rose 0.1% month-on-month but slowed by a slightly larger-than-expected amount to 4.6% in annual basis, from 4.8%.
Reading: Inflation fell in July for the first time in 20 months, according to the key gauge
Personal income rose 0.2% in July, while consumer spending rose 0.1%, below forecasts. The US trade deficit narrowed 9.7% in July, while inventories rose.
As Powell spoke, investors also received an update from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey, which showed that consumers’ outlook for the economy improved in August, while medium- and long-term inflation expectations continued to moderate .
Which companies are in focus?
Electronics Arts Inc.
Shares rose 4.7%, even after reports debunked earlier rumors of a possible deal Amazon.com Inc.
Shares of Dell Technologies Inc.
fell more than 11% after executives said the end of the pandemic-induced PC sales boom appeared in the second quarter. Revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations.
lost 1.5 percent, erasing earlier gains that had followed an earnings report that slightly beat Wall Street expectations.
Meta Platforms Inc.
fell more than 3% as large-cap “FAANG” names fell on Powell’s dovish remarks. Amazon fell more than 3%, while Apple Inc.
fell 2.7% and Netflix Inc.
How are the other assets?
The yield on the 10-year bond TMUBMUSD10Y,
rose about one basis point to 3.04%, while yields on the two-year Treasury TMUBMUSD02Y,
rose four basis points to 3.43%.
The ICE DXY Dollar Index,
Crude prices CL.1,
were lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery CLV22;
down 0.3% to $92.23 a barrel.
Gold futures GC00 fell, with gold for December delivery GCZ22;
down 1.3% to $1,747.80 an ounce.
Bitcoin BTCUSD fell more than 4% below $20,500.
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–– Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report.