U.S. stocks suffer worst week in seven years

U.S. stocks suffer worst week in seven years

U.S. stocks suffer worst week in seven years

The latest round of selling, which on Friday dragged the Nasdaq down almost 3 percent to its lowest closing level since August 2017, comes two days after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for a fourth time this year, as the US central bank continues to unwind the low interest-rate policy that supported stocks for almost a decade.

For the day, the Nasdaq index fell nearly 3%, the S&P 500 tumbled more than 2%, and the Dow slid 1.8%.

The broad-based S&P dropped 1.5 per cent to 2,506.87, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 2.2 per cent to 6,635.48.

It was another miserable day on Wall Street as a series of big December plunges continued, putting stocks on track for their worst month in a decade.

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday as investors digested the latest economic data, speech from a central bank official, and the fact that the government is on the verge of a partial shutdown. That hasn't happened yet, but investors fear it will. Inversions are often taken as a sign a recession is coming, although it's not a ideal signal and when recessions do follow inversions in the yield curve, it can take a year or more.

"We would use all available tools" if the economy got significantly worse, Williams said, though he didn't predict the economy would turn south and pledged the Fed would "take the right policy decision to keep this economy strong". Political chaos from Brexit, a looming US government shutdown and the resignation of US Defense Secretary James Mattis are stoking fear, too.

"This is the classic shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later market", said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. Even with the drop since late August, Nasdaq is almost 400 percent above its March 2009 low, with a total return of more than 456 percent.

The Dow and the S&P 500 stock indexes are on pace for their worst month since 2009.

The Dow is down 2,273.85 points, or 9.2 per cent. The Nasdaq fell 195 points, or 3 percent, to 6,332.

The possibility of a partial shutdown of the federal government also loomed over the market on Thursday, as funding for the government runs out at midnight Friday.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.78 percent.

The S&P 500 fell 61 points, or 2.4 percent, to 2,445.

Other fuel prices also fell.

In small caps, the Russell 2000 closed at 1326.00 for a loss of -23.23 points or -1.72%. Target also climbed 1 percent. The British FTSE 100 slipped 0.8 percent. Amazon gave up 2.8 percent.

Oil prices, which slid just over 4 percent on Thursday, tumbled to their lowest since the third quarter of 2017. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.9 percent.

The dollar index rose 0.76 percent, with the euro down 0.74 percent to $1.1359.

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