Dow, S&P 500 Close Lower For Fifth Consecutive Session

Stocks once again failed to sustain an early upward move and came under pressure over the course of the trading day on Friday. With the downturn on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 closed lower for the fifth consecutive session.

The major averages accelerated to the downside going into the close, ending the day firmly negative. The Dow fell 271.66 points or 0.8 percent to 34,607.72, its lowest closing level in well over a month. The Nasdaq slid 132.76 points or 0.9 percent to 15,115.49 and the S&P 500 dropped 34.70 points or 0.8 percent to 4,458.58.

For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow tumbled by 2.2 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq slumped by 1.7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

The initial strength on Wall Street came as traders looked to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels following the recent downward trend.

Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, as traders continued to express concerns about the economic impact of the delta variant.

Traders may also have been wary of buying stocks ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy meeting later this month.

The Fed may provide an update on the plans for its asset purchase program, although recent signs of slowing economic momentum could lead the central bank to push back tapering.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing producer prices increased by slightly more than expected in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.7 percent in August after jumping by 1.0 percent for two straight months. Economists had expected producer prices to increase by 0.6 percent.

Excluding prices for food, energy and trade services, core producer prices rose by 0.3 percent in August following a 0.9 percent advance in July. Core prices were expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

Sector News

Tobacco stocks moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index down by 3.8 percent. The index continued to give back ground after reaching a nearly three-year closing high on Tuesday.

Substantial weakness also emerged among airline stocks, as reflected by the 3.3 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. The nosedive came after the index soared by 2.6 percent on Thursday.

Utilities stocks also came under pressure over the course of the session, resulting in a 1.6 percent drop by the Dow Jones Utilities Average.

Gold, commercial real estate and brokerage stocks also saw notable weakness, while some strength remained visible among semiconductor stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries gave back ground after moving notably higher over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 4.2 basis points to 1.341 percent.

Looking Ahead

Next week’s trading may be impacted by some key economic data, including reports on consumer prices, retail sales, industrial production, import and export prices, consumer sentiment and regional manufacturing activity.

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