Stocks finished lower on Friday, adding to recent losses despite stronger-than-expected jobs data, as investors continue to remain nervous about a slowdown in economic growth and experts warn of more market downturns ahead.
All three major indexes were down for at least the fifth week in a row: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3%, roughly 100 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 1.4%.
Stocks briefly pared back losses after new data from the Labor Department on Friday showed that the U.S. economy added back 428,000 jobs last month, higher than the 400,000 expected by economists.
The wider market selloff resumed on Friday, however, with stocks adding to losses after a brutal wipeout on Thursday, in which the Dow fell over 1,000 points, while the S&P 500 lost 3.6% and the Nasdaq 5%.
The selloff on Thursday was the market’s worst day since 2020, erasing gains from a day earlier as stocks initially rallied on the back of a widely expected half-percentage-point rate increase from the Federal Reserve.
Shares of technology stocks, which have been hard-hit amid the wider selloff in recent weeks, moved lower again on Friday as the sector continued to underperform.
Amid volatile trading in recent days, all three major indexes are on track to finish lower this week, extending a bad streak of losses.
With markets spooked by fears of slowing economic growth, investors sold off riskier assets including cryptocurrencies, with the price of Bitcoin falling roughly 9% in the last 24 hours to below $36,000, according to data from Coin Metrics.
“Investors need confidence that the Fed won’t raise [rates] too aggressively and topple the economy into recession in their fight against inflation,” explains John Lynch, chief investment officer at Comerica Wealth Management. “Today’s report is balanced and may prove to dampen the extreme volatility of recent days,” he says, adding, “We’re still not out of the woods, yet a clearing is visible.”
What To Watch For
Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman, meanwhile, told CNBC on Friday that stocks are “likely to head lower,” predicting that either the “Fed or oil [will] put us in a recession.” Other experts similarly warn of more downside ahead, pointing to several technical indicators that show the market selloff is far from over, as rising rates continue to put pressure on equities.
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