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Stock Market News for Oct 3, 2022

Wall Street closed sharply lower on Friday for the second straight trading session. Market participants are apprehensive about an imminent recession and are making their moves accordingly. High inflation numbers coming in from the United States and the Eurozone did not boost investor sentiment either. All three major stock indexes ended in the red.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slid 1.7% or 500.1 points to close at 28,725.51. All components of the 30-stock index ended in negative territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished at 10,575.62, dropping 1.5% or 161.89 points, pulled down by the large-cap tech stocks.

The S&P 500 lost 1.5% to end at 3,585.62. Ten out of the 11 broad sectors of the benchmark index closed in the red. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY), the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) plunged 2%, 1.9% and 1.9%, respectively, while the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) gained 1.1%.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 0.7% to 31.62. A total of 12.4 billion shares were traded on Friday, higher than the last 20-session average of 11.5 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.45-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, a 1.38-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

Inflation Numbers Keep Investors Worried

Inflation numbers in August came in stronger than expected despite the Fed’s efforts to bring down prices, according to the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation. The Fed prefers core PCE to gauge the direction of prices as it adjusts for consumer behavior.

On a year-over-year basis, core PCE increased 4.9%, up from 4.7% the previous month. PCE excluding food and energy rose 0.6% for the month after being flat in July. Including gas and energy, headline PCE rose 0.3% in August, compared with a decline of 0.1% in July. This number was not on expected lines as there was a sharp decline in gas prices during the assessment period.

Personal spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.4% in August after falling 0.2% in July, while personal income remained flat at 0.3%. The personal savings rate also came in flat at 3.5%.

This implies that the Fed would be encouraged to further tighten monetary policy until there are tell-tale signs of inflation cooling off. Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said it is imperative that the central bank does not shrink from fighting inflation till the job is done. “Monetary policy will need to be restrictive for some time to have confidence that inflation is moving back to target,” she said Friday. Brainard added, “For these reasons, we are committed to avoiding pulling back prematurely.”

Coupled with a flash report which showed that inflation hit 10% in September in the Euro zone, concerns of a global recession, fueled by policy tightening, drove the markets.

Consequently, shares of Skyworks Solutions, Inc. SWKS and Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY fell 4.5% and 2.7%, respectively. Both currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Weekly Roundup

All three major indexes slid sharply for the week. The S&P 500 and the Dow lost 2.9% each to close their third consecutive losing week. The Nasdaq dropped nearly 2.7%. Fears of a global recession have weighed down on markets in recent sessions with the Fed promising to tighten monetary policy even further.

Monthly Roundup

September was a rocky month for the indexes. The S&P 500 fell 9.3% and registered its worst monthly decline since March 2020. The Nasdaq lost 10.5%, pulled down tech stocks, as bond yields rose on the policy tightening outlook. The Dow tumbled 8.8%. All three indexes posted their second straight monthly losses.

Quarterly Roundup

On a quarterly basis, the S&P 500, the Nasdaq and the Dow fell 5.3%, 4.1% and 6.7%, respectively. This is the first time the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have posted three consecutive quarterly losses since the 2008 crisis. For the Dow, this third straight quarterly loss is the first it has witnessed since 2015.

Economic Data

The University of Michigan reported that Consumer Sentiment for September came in at 58.6 against the consensus estimate of 59.6. It has also decreased from 59.5, the unrevised number of the prior period.

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