FRIDAY – Stocks were flat on Friday and the market headed for a losing week as investors braced for tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.
Despite a small rebound Thursday and Friday’s early gains, the major averages were headed for weekly declines. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down 1% and 2.6%, respectively, for the week through Thursday’s close. The Dow was down 0.7% week to date. Those losses would mark the first weekly losses for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in four weeks. Meanwhile, the Dow is headed for back-to-back weekly declines.
The losses have been driven by a change of tone by the Federal Reserve, signaling it will be even more aggressive to fight inflation. On Wednesday, the central bank disclosed its March meeting minutes, revealing that policymakers plan to reduce their bond holdings by a consensus amount of about $95 billion a month. The minutes also indicated potential interest rate hikes of 50 basis points in future meetings. A basis point equals 0.01%.
Investors are also looking ahead to earnings season kicking off next week with reports from five big banks.
The Dow bounced back on Thursday after two straight days of losses, ending the day up 0.25% after dropping as much as 300 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed higher for the day.
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