STORY: A major market selloff for stocks on Friday.
All three Wall Street benchmarks lost more than 2.5%, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling nearly 1000 points – its worst decline since October of 2020.
The Dow lost 2.8% on Friday, erasing the week’s gains. The S&P 500 ended down 2.7% and the Nasdaq finished 2.5% lower. Both of those indexes posted their third weekly decline in a row, while the Dow has lost ground for four straight weeks.
Concerns about risks from interest rate hikes continued to reverberate after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish pivot on Thursday, where he backed moving more quickly to combat inflation and said a 50-basis-point increase would be “on the table” when the Fed meets in May.
The CBOE Volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, soared on Friday.
Earnings are due next week for the four biggest U.S. companies by market capitalization: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet. Each company’s stock suffered major sell-offs Friday, as well as Meta Platforms, which also has results on deck for next week.
Investors fretted after streaming giant Netflix posted dismal earnings earlier this week, sending shockwaves through big tech.
The latest earnings forecast to jolt investors came from the healthcare sector on Friday, after HCA Healthcare reported a downbeat profit outlook, sending shares nearly 22% lower.
And, finally, shares of Gap lost 18% after the retailer slashed its forecast for quarterly sales, citing problems at its Old Navy business and “macro-economic dynamics.”