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Dec. 7, 2018 / 9:10 PM GMT
By Lucy Bayly
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 558 points on Friday, capping a wild week of trading that saw the blue-chip index lose close to 5 percent of its value. It was the worst week for the Dow since March, and erased all gains for the year.
The Dow started the day with a spike of 150 points after the Department of Labor released a generally tepid jobs report, only to plummet by mid-afternoon to a session low of 662 points down as markets continued to absorb the destabilizing impact of President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies.
The broader S&P 500 lost 2.3 percent of its value, and a tech sell-off fueled a drop of 3 percent on the Nasdaq composite index. Tech giants Alphabet and Apple both lost all of their gains for the year. Apple’s share price has been steadily falling after a litany of analysts cut their price targets for the smartphone maker amid concern over waning demand for the iPhone.
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The market also hiccuped after St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard suggested the central bank should not introduce a rate hike in December — the first to publicly make such a pronouncement. Bullard cited the inverted yield curve, a phenomenon that many see as indicative of an impending recession.
Even a production cut agreement by OPEC and an ensuing spike in oil prices failed to buoy markets. The oil cartel concluded its two-day meeting Friday with a deal — including non-member Russia — to curb output by a total of 1.2 million barrels