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Tech stocks lead Wall Street lower, breaking winning streak

By Amanda Caroline  •  August 20, 2022  •  42

Triwer – Wall Street concluded an erratic trading week on Friday with a wide market decline that left the major indexes down for the week.

A four-week winning streak was snapped when the S&P 500 finished 1.3% down. More than 80% of the companies in the benchmark index saw a decline in share price, with technology stocks being largely responsible.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 2% and saw its four-week winning streak come to an end. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased by 0.9%, finishing the week marginally down. Small-company stocks also fell, causing the Russell 2000 index to decline by 2.2%.

After a strong run of weekly advances, Friday saw the market's strongest selling, including the S&P 500's steepest loss in more than seven weeks. Strong market gains in July and early August came in response to company results that exceeded expectations and indications that the economy is slowing, perhaps paving the way for less pronounced rate increases—the Federal Reserve's primary tool for containing rising inflation—in the future.

According to Quincy Krosby, chief equity strategist for LPL Financial, the minutes from the central bank's interest rate decision meeting last month and recent statements by Fed officials appeared to imply that the Fed may not be ready to slow down its pace of rate hikes just yet.

That "placed the market on notice that maybe the market might have to deal with a Fed that continues to hike rates at a steady pace and maybe does not halt and take its foot off the pedal," she said.

This offered traders "the perfect justification to finally start burning off" some of the recent gains in the market.

To 4,227.48, the S&P 500 dropped 55.26 points. It lost 1.2% for the week and is now down 11.3% for the year as a whole.

The Nasdaq fell 260.13 points to 12,705.22, while the Dow fell 292.30 points to 33,706.74. To reach 1,973.35 points, the Russell 2000 lost 43.38 points.

Some of the largest losses were seen in technology equities, and the sector's decline had a significant impact on the whole market. Microsoft experienced a 1.4% decline.

Along with the general decline, retailers, banks, and communications firms all experienced substantial declines.

Following the high-profile activist investor Ryan Cohen's confirmation that he had sold his position in the company, meme stock Bed Bath & Beyond fell 40.5%.

The majority of cryptocurrencies decreased, with Bitcoin down 8.5% to $21,370, according to CoinDesk.

General Motors was one of the shining examples, rising 2.5% after resuming its dividend. After appointing a new CEO and releasing earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations, Foot Locker saw a 20% increase.

Bond yields increased as a result of anticipated future interest rate increases. By late Thursday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury had increased to 2.97% from 2.89%.

This week, there was no shortage of business and economic data for traders to analyze, including the most recent retailer earnings as well as updates on consumer spending, home sales, and the labor situation.

Investors have been cautioned by major retailers like Walmart and Target that rising prices are reducing customer spending. Next Monday, department store owner Macy's will release its results.

This week's retail sales data revealed that despite falling gas prices, which have a moderating effect on inflation, consumer spending is still strong.

Wall Street is attempting to ascertain how the persistently high inflation is affecting consumers and businesses as well as if the economy can hold up and avert a recession.

Investors are also keeping a careful eye on government and company report data as they try to predict how the Federal Reserve will proceed with its aim to battle inflation by raising interest rates. In order to reduce inflation, rates will be raised and economic growth will be slowed. However, the central bank must walk a tightrope between containing inflation in a declining economy and slamming on the brakes too hard, which may push the country into a recession.

The Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates, according to the minutes of its July meeting, which were published this week. Twice this year, the central bank increased interest rates by 0.75 percentage points, which is three times the usual increment. At the upcoming meeting of the board, forecasters presently estimate a rise of 0.5 percentage points.

The address made by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at an annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will be closely watched by Wall Street the following week.

Does he engage the market with his analysis of the trajectory of inflation, the Fed's efforts, and any suggestions regarding the direction of rate hikes? Krosby remarked.