Dow Extending Downward Trend, Drops To Two-Month Low

Stocks have moved mostly lower in morning trading on Friday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the downside on the day, with the Dow falling to its lowest intraday level in over two months.

Currently, the major averages are off their worst levels but still firmly negative. The Dow is down 425.21 points or 1.3 percent at 33,398.24, the Nasdaq is down 61.71 points or 0.4 percent at 14,099.64 and the S&P 500 is down 34.95 points or 0.8 percent at 4,186.91.

The Dow is extending a recent downtrend, which has seen the blue chip index close lower for four straight sessions and seven out of the past nine.

The drop seen on Thursday pulled the Dow down to its lowest closing level in over a month, down 3.6 percent from the record intraday high set last month.

Concerns about the outlook for monetary policy continue to weigh on the markets following the Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday.

The Fed’s forecast for two interest rates hikes in 2023 has led to speculation that the central bank will soon start tapering its asset purchases.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would provide “advance notice” before making any changes to its asset purchases, but traders remain on edge about stocks losing a key layer of support.

Looking ahead, next week’s trading may be impacted by reaction to reports on new and existing home sales, durable goods orders and personal income and spending as well as Congressional testimony by Powell.

Banking stocks are turning in some of the market’s worst performances on the day, with the KBW Bank Index tumbling by 2.6 percent to its lowest intraday level in almost two months.

Substantial weakness is also visible among oil stocks, as reflected by the 1.8 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Oil Index. The index continues to give back ground after ending Tuesday’s trading at its best closing level in over a year.

The weakness in the oil sector comes despite a rebound by the price of crude oil, with crude for July delivery jumping $0.98 to $72.02 a barrel after tumbling $1.11 to $71.04 a barrel on Thursday.

Brokerage, natural gas and computer hardware stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved sharply lower on the day. While French CAC 40 Index has tumbled by 1.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1.9 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the notable upward move seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 6.1 basis points at 1.450 percent.

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