FRIDAY – Stocks fell on Friday after the U.S. government released employment data that badly missed expectations, adding to growing concerns that the global economy may be slowing down.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back 215 points as Caterpillar and Chevron lagged. The S&P 500 fell 0.8 percent as the energy and tech sectors both dropped more than 1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite slid 1.1 percent.
The U.S. economy added just 20,000 jobs in last month, marking the weakest month of jobs creation since September 2017. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 180,000.
Treasury yields fell along with futures. The benchmark 10-year rate dipped to 2.619 percent while the 2-year yield traded at 2.45 percent.
Equities were on track to post rare weekly losses. The major indexes were all down more than 1.9 percent entering Friday’s session. The Nasdaq was on pace to snap a 10-week winning streak, while the Dow was set to notch its second weekly decline of the year.
The weekly decline comes amid growing fears that most of the positive news on the U.S.-China trade front may be baked in. At this point, most investors expect the two countries to strike a trade deal later this month. There are also worries that a deal may not be sure thing.
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THURSDAY – Stocks fell on Thursday after the European Central Bank slashed its economic growth forecast for 2019 and announced a new round of stimulus to help banks in the region, stoking worries over the global economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 246 points lower as shares of 3M and United Technologies lagged. The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent, led by declines in the industrials and materials sectors. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.8 percent. The indexes were headed for their fourth consecutive loss.
Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 also broke below their 200-day moving averages, levels that are closely watched by traders.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank cut its growth estimate to 1.1 percent, down from a 1.7 percent expansion forecast released in December.
Thursday’s moves come after the major indexes posted their third straight day of losses, with investors eager to know details from trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.
Stocks are still up sharply for the year despite Thursday’s losses. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have both risen more than 10 percent while the Dow is up more than 9 percent.
THURSDAY – U.S. stock index futures erased earlier losses on Thursday after the European Central Bank announced a new round of stimulus to help banks in the region.
At 8:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 23 points after slipping nearly 100 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also up slightly.
The ECB said its new targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO-III) stimulus program will start in September and run through March 2021. TLTROs are loans provided by the ECB to European banks at a low rate, making it easier for them to lend money to consumers, which in turn can help stimulate the economy. This is the third stimulus injection from the ECB since 2014.
Wall Street ended Wednesday’s session lower, posting its third consecutive decline. Investors are eager to know details from trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.
As trade talks between the world’s largest economies continue, there’s fresh tensions regarding Huawei. The Chinese firm filled a lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming the law which bans it from selling equipment to government agencies is unconstitutional.
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WEDNESDAY – Stocks fell on Wednesday as investors sought further indications that a trade deal between China and the U.S. could be reached in the near future.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back 75 points as Exxon Mobile and Walgreens Boots Alliance lagged. The S&P 500 dipped 0.4 percent, led by declines in energy and health care. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.5 percent.
Stocks are off to a hot start this year, with the S&P 500 rising more than 11 percent through Tuesday’s close. Increasing expectations that a trade deal will get done have partly helped equities surge in 2019.
However, there is growing fear that an agreement may be fully priced in, possibly limiting any more gains from positive trade news.
Recently, the S&P 500 has had trouble making a significant break above 2,800, a key level being watched by investors. The broad index closed above that level on Friday, but fell back below it this week.
Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit increased to a 10-year high of $59.8 billion despite the administration’s efforts to reduce the number. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the number to increase to $57.3 billion.
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U.S. stock index futures pointed to a strong open on Friday, as Wall Street looked to build on its best start to a year in nearly 30 years.
At around 8:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of more than 170 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also up.
The major indexes posted solid monthly gains in February, pushing the S&P 500 to its best start to a year since 1991. The S&P 500 is up more than 11 percent for 2019, along with the Dow. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, is up 13.5 percent.
Decreasing trade tensions between China and the U.S., along with a declining fears of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, helped propel stocks higher.
Market participants are likely to closely monitor a fresh batch of economic data on Friday. Personal income, consumer spending and core PCE figures for December and January will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET.
Manufacturing PMI, ISM manufacturing, and consumer sentiment data are all expected to follow later in the session.
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THURSDAY – Stocks were little changed at Thursday’s open as stronger-than-expected economic data were offset by talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un falling through.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just 11 points while the S&P 500 dipped around 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2 percent.
The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the economy to grow at a pace of 2.2 percent.
Investors were closely watching the summit in Vietnam as it could potentially impact trade negotiations between China and the U.S.
On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified in front of House members that China needed to do more than just buy more U.S. goods for the two countries to strike a permanent trade deal. But Lighthizer said after the testimony, according to The Wall Street Journal, that formal steps would be taken to abandon plans of raising tariffs on Chinese goods.
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Stocks started lower on Tuesday as investors digested the release of weaker-than-expected Home Depot earnings, mixed economic data and testimony from the top-ranked Federal Reserve official.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded just above even after falling more than 100 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 climbed 0.1 percent while the Nasdaq Composite was also up slightly.
Strong consumer confidence numbers helped stocks rebound. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 131.4 in February, easily topping an estimate of 124. In January, consumer confidence was at 121.7.
Investors also digested testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday. In prepared remarks, Powell said the economy is “healthy” but that the Fed is also seeing “crosscurrents and conflicting signals.” It comes after the U.S. central bank adopted a more cautious stance on future interest rate hikes last month.
Stocks have been on a tear recently, with the Dow and Nasdaq rising a nine-week winning streak. The S&P 500 has risen for eight of the past nine weeks. Diminishing concerns over U.S.-China trade and tighter monetary policy have contributed to the sharp stock gains.
FRIDAY – Stocks fell for a third consecutive day Friday, exacerbating a week-long equity exodus that has pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index into a bear market and put the S&P 500 on track for its worst December since the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve’s rate hike on Wednesday drove the losses and fears of an extended government shutdown only added to the pain on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 150 points in turbulent trading that sent the blue-chip index up as much as 300 points earlier in the day, only to trade in negative territory less than one hour later. The initial tick upward came as Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said that the central bank could reassess its interest rate policy and balance sheet reduction in the new year if the economy slows. But those gains slowly disappeared as investors used that short-term pop as a chance to sell more. The broader S&P 500 fell 1 percent on Friday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 1.8 percent.
Technology stocks led the sell-off again on Friday as they have since September. Facebook lost 5.3 percent, Apple lost 2 percent and Amazon lost 4.8 percent on Friday.
The Fed currently is allowing $50 billion a month to run off its massive debt balance sheet as its securities mature, tightening financial conditions. The balance sheet is mostly a collection of bonds the central bank purchased to vitalize the economy during and after the financial crisis.
Equities fell to their lows of the day in the previous session after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan announced that PresidentTrump would not sign a temporary government funding resolution without funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
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WEDNESDAY – Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors awaited a key speech from the top Federal Reserve official, while hope that a U.S.-China trade truce could come lifted sentiment on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 200 points, led by gains in Boeing. The S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent as the technology sector gained around 1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7 percent.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to speak at the Economic Club of New York. During the event, Powell is slated to talk about the Fed’s framework for monitoring financial stability. Investors are eagerly awaiting the speech as stocks have fallen in part because of fears the central bank may be tightening monetary policy too quickly.
Easing worries on U.S.-China trade also boosted stocks on Wednesday. A New York Times report said Trump was worried about the impact of a long trade war with China on markets and the economy. This could lead Trump to seek a compromise with China on trade, the Times said, citing U.S. officials.
Boeing shares rose more than 2 percent as trade worries eased. They also rose after Indonesia investigators said they are looking at a possible maintenance issue that could have led to the Lion Air crash last month.
Stocks also rose as beaten-down tech shares regained some of their losses. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet all rose.
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Stocks rose on Wednesday after the midterm election, lifting a cloud of uncertainty that was weighing on the market.
The major index averages hit their session highs after President Trump said he is willing to work with Democrats on policy initiatives that would help the economy keep growing.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 350+ points, led by gains in UnitedHealth and Microsoft. The S&P 500 gained 1.5 percent as the health care and tech sectors both rallied more than 2 percent. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.9 percent.
Trump said, “Hopefully we can all work together next year to continue delivering for the American people, including on economic growth, infrastructure, trade, lowering the cost of prescription drugs. The Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for healthcare, a plan for whatever they’re looking at and we’ll negotiate.”