US Stocks Dip Nearly 3 Percent, as Investors Prepare for Higher Fed Interest Rates

Stocks in the United States plummeted on Friday, mostly dragged by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  The index suffered its worst one-day loss in the last couple years, struck down by lower corporate earnings and a pending interest rate increase spurred by a recent influx of selling.

Specifically, the Dow Jones Industrial fell more than 981 points, to 33,811.40. This is a dip of 2.8 percent, and its largest loss since late October of 2020.  Unfortunately, the Standard & Poor’s 500 fared about exactly the same, with a 2.8% drop to 4,721.78. That is the S&P’s worst performance since last month.   Finally, the Nasdaq Composite fell by 2.6 percent, to 12,839.29.

Looking closely at components in the market, UnitedHealth fell by 3 percent, dropping more than 100 points within its position in the Dow Jones.  Caterpillar also saw a loss of 100 points, down 6.6 percent on the day.  Visa, Goldman Sachs, and Home Depot were also among the big losers in the index on the day.

Perhaps the biggest S&P 500 loss of the day was HCA Healthcare, which dipped a whopping 21.8 percent on the day.  Their decline came as a result of the company posting weak full-year guidance on both their earnings and guidance.

Other stocks to take a hit include Verizon, whose shares fell 5.6 percent after the company reported a 36,000 loss in monthly phone service subscriptions.  Gap plunged 18 percent, mostly on the announcement of the resignation of Old Navy CEO Nancy Green.

Overall, then, these losses sank the Dow Jones by 1.9 percent, marking the fourth consecutive weekly decline, and the ninth week of losses out of the past three months. Concurrently, the Standard & Poors 500 noted a decline of 2.8 percent weekly loss, marking the third consecutive one-week decline for the S&P.  Finally, the Nasdaq Composite suffered the biggest loss, stripping 3.8 percent from its value.

All of this seems to have led Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to strongly hint that the agency plans to raise borrowing rates as quickly as possible.  The hope, in this, is to address the highest US consumer price increases in the last four decades.