The major averages close lower once again in volatile trading on Friday, as investors struggled to find support after the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its worst day since 2020. The S&P 500 shed 23 points or 0.57% while the Nasdaq Composite fell 173 points or 1.4% The Dow was down 345 points, or about 1% before closing down 98 points or 0.3%. The losses on Friday put the three major indexes in danger of finishing lower for the week despite starting with three straight positive sessions.
The moves came after stocks sold off sharply on Thursday. The Dow lost more than 1,000 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell nearly 5%. Both indexes notched their worst single-day drops since 2020. The S&P 500 fell 3.56%, its second-worst day of the year.
Thursday's losses erased Wednesday's big post-Federal Reserve meeting rally. Fed Chair Jerome Powell ruled out the prospect of larger rate hikes on Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 and the Dow to their best daily gains since 2020.
Technology stocks bore the brunt of Thursday's fall, with cloud companies, e-retailers and mega-cap names seeing steep declines.
The largest stocks in the market shuffled between gains and losses on Friday. Shares of Apple held on to slight gains, while Amazon and Microsoft dipped.
Speculative areas of the market such as biotech and solar energy were hit hard on Friday. Illumina dropped more than 16%, while Enphase Energy fell 8.5%.
Moves in the Treasury market appeared to be impacting equities on Friday. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.13% for the first time since 2018, coinciding with early declines for stocks, but eased back from that level later in the session.
Energy was a bright spot for the market, with EOG Resources jumping 5%. Oil prices rose again on Friday, which is a positive for energy stocks but is leading to worries about slowing economic growth and higher inflation.
On the earnings front, shares of Under Armour dropped more than 22% after the apparel company missed estimates on the top and bottom lines. That appeared to hurt rival Nike, whose shares dropped about 4% and weighed on the Dow.
Insurance stock Cigna jumped nearly 5% after a better-than-expected quarterly report.
The losses Friday came despite an April jobs report that showed a gain of 428,000 jobs, more than the 400,000 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
One weak area of the report was the labor force participation rate, which was little changed month over month and remains 1.2 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level. Economists believe that a recovery in participation could help stem the rise in wages and, by extension, inflation.
Elsewhere in economic data, the Fed's consumer credit data showed an increase of $52.4 billion in March, more than double what economists expected, according to Dow Jones.
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