DJIA: 32,944.19, down 229.88
S&P 500: 4,204.31, down 55.21
Nasdaq: 12,843.81, down 286.15
Stocks suffer worst week since January
U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday to cap the worst week since January. Mixed geopolitical headlines kept uncertainty elevated. Russian President Putin stated that he saw “certain positive shifts” in high level talks with top Ukrainian officials. However, the comment contradicted remarks from Ukraine’s foreign minister, while reports indicated that Russia’s attacks on the nation were intensifying. Meanwhile, the U.S. joined its allies in ending normal trade relations with Moscow. The Dow lost 229 points, posting a fifth consecutive weekly decline (-2%), which marked its longest losing streak since May 2019. The S&P 500 fell 1.3%, ending the week 2.9% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite’s 2.2% slide brought its weekly drop to 3.5%.
On the data front, a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan revealed consumer sentiment deteriorated more than expected in March, still at the lowest point since October 2011. According to the survey, one-year inflation expectations jumped to 5.4%, the highest level since 1981. The Treasury yield curve flattened ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. The yield on the 10-year note rose one basis point (0.01%) to 2.00%, capping a 26-basis point (0.26%) weekly increase. In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude gained 3% to $109.22/barrel, but posted its worst week since November (-5.7%). A gauge of the U.S. dollar ascended to its strongest level since July 2020.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in negative territory, with growth-related shares leading the downturn. In stock news, Oracle Corp. added 1.5% after issuing positive forward guidance. Elsewhere, DocuSign Inc. slumped 20.1% on a disappointing outlook, while Rivian Automotive Inc. dipped 7.6% following a wider-than-anticipated loss.
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