The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose on Friday, but still posted a weekly loss as recession fears continued to dampen investor sentiment.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 3,844.82, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%, closing at 10,497.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 176.44 points, or 0.5%, to 33,203.93 points.
Major indices fluctuated earlier in the session after the core PCE price index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, It came in a little hotter than economists expected On a yearly basis, which indicates persistent inflation despite the Fed’s efforts to fight it.
“Today’s economic numbers released highlight the difficulty investors face today, as weak numbers bring recession fears and strong numbers bring Fed fears,” said Louis Navellier, founder and chief investment officer of growth investment firm Navellier & Associates.
“You can’t win now with macro numbers,” he added. “That’s why it’s now a lot more about the stock-picking market, but with all the index traders and ETFs out there, even stocks that execute their business plan well can be advantageously pushed out by the losers attached to them.”
The S&P 500 ended the week down about 0.2% for the week, marking its third consecutive weekly decline. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite lost 2% for the week, and for the third consecutive week. The Dow was the best performer, with a gain of 0.9%.
Recession fears have resurfaced recently, dashing some investors’ hope for a year-end rally and leading to big losses in December. Investors are worried that excessive tightening from central banks around the world could force the economy into a contraction.
For December, the S&P 500 lost 5.8%, while the Dow and Nasdaq lost more than 4% and 8.5%, respectively. These are the largest monthly declines for the major averages since September. The stock is also on track for its worst annual performance since 2008.
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