Dow edges lower Friday, heads for worst week since September on rate fears

Stocks gyrated on Friday, but headed for a down week as worries over continued rate hikes persisted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average last traded 77 points, or 0.2% lower, and was on pace for its worst week since September. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite traded flat.

For the week, the Dow is off by 2.1%, while the S&P 500 has fallen 2.7%. The Nasdaq is down 3.3%.

Friday’s moves came as November’s producer price index showed higher-than-expected wholesale prices, which rose 0.3% last month and 7.4% over the previous year. Core PPI, which excludes food and energy, also topped expectations.

Optimistic consumer sentiment data helped to alleviate some fears, but attention remains laser-focused on next week’s busy economic calendar. All eyes are on the consumer price index, which is expected to show whether prices have subsided.

Later in the week, the Federal Reserve will likely deliver a 50 basis point hike at the end of its December meeting. While the increase would be smaller than the previous four hikes, concerns have mounted over whether the central bank can architect a soft landing and prevent a recession.

Investors have long hoped for a pivot from the Fed’s aggressive tightening stance, but the data fails to support that desire, said Stephanie Lang, chief investment officer at Homrich Berg.

“It’s our expectation that we really need to see inflation come down closer to the Fed funds rate for the Fed to pause, and we still have quite a bit of delta between those numbers,” she said. “There’s still a bit of work to be done on the inflation front to really see that as the reality.”

In other news, shares of Lululemon fell after the company gave a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter outlook. Bath & Body Works’ stock gained as Dan Loeb revealed a boost in his stake.

Source link