U.S. stocks trending lower after Fed chief’s speech Friday
U.S. stocks were lower overnight following remarks Friday by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaling higher interest rates for a longer period of time to try and tamp down inflation even as disappointed investors hoped the central bank would begin to ease rates to help the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 1,000 points Friday after Powell’s vow to keep pressing the fight against inflation, even at the expense of economic growth.
In the highly anticipated speech, Powell said the Fed must continue raising interest rates and keep them high until inflation is under control. His comments disappointed investors who had hoped inflation had peaked and the Fed would shift from raising rates to lowering them sometime next year.
Friday’s selloff capped off two consecutive weeks of losses for major stock indexes and largely wiped out the market’s gains since late July. Technology stocks that were flying high earlier this summer took a particular beating, with Amazon.com and Netflix both falling more than 4% for the day.
The Dow shed 1,008.38 points, or 3%, to 32283.40, the blue-chip index’s biggest one-day drop since May. The S&P 500 fell 141.46 points, or 3.4%, to 4057.66. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite slid 497.56 points, or 3.9%, to 12141.71.
The indexes were little changed ahead of the speech, then steadily declined throughout the session, with losses accelerating into the closing bell.
All three indexes declined more than 4% for the week, following an up-and-down ride in which investors weighed worries over Fed tightening against economic data that pointed to underlying strength in the U.S. economy.
Powell’s comments at the Fed’s summit in Jackson Hole, Wyo., highlighted how the central bank is preparing to shift from a phase of rapid and large rate increases to potentially one in which it focuses on reaching an interest-rate level that slows hiring, spending and growth, then holds at that level for some time.
Meanwhile, Asian shares declined Monday.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 2.7% in afternoon trading to 27,881.87. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 2.0% to 6,965.50. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 2.2% to 2,427.28. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.8% to 20,004.49, while the Shanghai Composite recouped earlier losses to inch up less than 0.1% at 3,237.82.
“The risk-off mood is playing out in the Asia’s session today as well, as bearish sentiments follow through with the sell-off in Wall Street to end last week while U.S. futures continue to suggest no reprieve into the new week,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
Also weighing on regional sentiments are China’s economic data over the weekend, which seem to indicate a strong recovery will take time. China’s January-July industrial profits sank 1.1% from a year ago, amid fresh COVID-19 restrictions.