Sputtering Out. Stocks ended lower on Friday as fears about global growth returned, but all three indexes notched strong weekly gains following the post-midterms relief rally. In today’s After the Bell, we…
…see that old worries are new again; …talk about the Fed yet again; and …find some comfort with consumers.
Stocks stalled across the board Friday, although post-election gains in recent days still carried all three indexes to weekly gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 201.92 points, or 0.77%, to 25989.30 while the S&P 500 fell 25.82 points, or 0.92%, to 2781.01, and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 123.98 points, or 1.65%, to 7406.90. For the week, the Dow is up 2.8%, while the S&P climbed 2.1%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.7%.
With midterms out of the way, a source of uncertainty is gone, but unfortunately other worries rushed in to fill the void. Without the polls as a distraction, “Global growth and domestic growth trends/data points, 2019 earnings, share buybacks, trade policy and tensions, and global monetary policy will once again come to the fore,” writes Nasdaq IR Intelligence’s Massud Ghaussy.
The latter worry is especially fresh for investors, as the Federal Reserve left rates unchanged on Thursday, as expected, following the conclusion of the central bank’s open market committee meeting. Markets are still largely anticipating a rate hike next month, but there weren’t too many new clues in the release.
“With market participants expecting a hike in December, and with financial market angst having calmed for now, the best course of action is to draw as little attention as possible,” writes Morgan Stanley ’s Ellen Zentner. Still, investors have been concerned with the Fed’s seemingly unshakable plans for tightening, even in the face of stock