Stocks fell on Friday to end a brutal week for financial markets as soaring interest rates and foreign currency turbulence heightened fears of a global recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 700 points to fall below 30,000 to a new low for the year. The 30-stock index has fallen 20% from its peak, known as bear market territory on Wall Street. It last traded 756 points lower, or 2.5%. The S&P 500 fell 2.7% and headed for a fresh 2022 closing low, while the Nasdaq Composite slid about 2.8%.
“The market has moved clearly and quickly from worries about inflation to worries about the Federal Reserve’s aggressive campaign,” said Quincy Krosby of LPL Financial. “You see bond yields rising to levels we haven’t seen in years – it changes the mindset on how the Fed achieves price stability without breaking anything.”
The pound hit a new low in more than three decades against the US dollar after a new British economic plan including a series of tax cuts jolted markets which are mostly worried about inflation at the moment. The main European markets lost 2% on the day.
“This is a global macro mess that the market is trying to fix,” Krosby said.
Friday marked the fourth consecutive negative session for the major averages. The Fed on Wednesday decreed another large rate hike of 75 basis points and indicated it would make another at its November meeting.
Bond yields soared this week on Fed actions, with 2- and 10-year Treasury yields hitting highs not seen in more than a decade.
Goldman Sachs cut its year-end S&P 500 target due to rising rates, predicting at least a 4% drop from here.
Stocks positioned to suffer the most from a recession led the losses this week with the S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector down 7%. Energy is down more than 9% due to falling oil prices. Growth stocks including big tech names Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Meta Platforms fell on Friday.
“Based on our discussions with our clients, a majority of equity investors have taken the view that a hard landing scenario is inevitable and are focused on the timing, magnitude and duration of a potential recession and investment strategies for those prospects,” Goldman Sachs wrote. ‘ David Kostin in a note to clients as he downsized his outlook.
The major averages are on the verge of their fifth decline in the past six weeks. The Dow Jones fell about 4.5% this week, while the S&P and Nasdaq fell 5.2% and 5.5%, respectively.