New York April 23 2022: Wall Street tumbled more than 2.5% on Friday, ensuring the three main benchmarks ended in negative territory for the week, as surprise earnings news and increased certainty around aggressive near-term interest rate rises took its toll on investors.
It was the third straight week of losses for both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq , while the Dow Jones posted its fourth weekly decline in a row.
For the Dow, its 2.82% drop on Friday was its biggest one-day fall since October 2020.
Exaggerated trading swings have become more common recently, as traders adjust to new data points from earnings, as well as when rates will rise again. For the Nasdaq, Friday was the eighth session in April, out of 15 trading days this month, where the index either rose or fell by more than 2%.
“It’s not very common, over the course of my time doing this job, for the market to move 2% in either direction and to think ‘there’s not too much to read into that’,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“That’s not normal, but that’s just how things have been for such a long time now.”
Concerns about risks from interest rate hikes continued to reverberate after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish pivot on Thursday, where he backed moving more quickly to combat inflation and said a 50-basis-point increase would be “on the table” when the Fed meets in May.
The idea of “front-end loading” the U.S. central bank’s retreat from super-easy monetary policy, which Powell articulated support for on Thursday, has also forced traders to re-evaluate how aggressive subsequent rate rises would be.