U.S. stocks closed lower Friday as investors digested strong big bank earnings, weak retail sales, and hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official, but all three major benchmarks booked weekly gains. How did stocks trade?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
shed 143.22 points, or 0.4%, to close at 33,886.47.
The S&P 500
fell 8.58 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 4,137.64.
declined 42.81 points, or 0.4%, to end at 12,123.47.
For the week, Dow rose 1.2%, the S&P 500 gained 0.8% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.3%. The Dow booked a fourth straight week of gains in its longest win streak since October, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
What drove the market? U.S. stocks ended modestly lower Friday, as investors digested retail sales data showing spending deteriorated again last month as well as Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller’s remarks that the Fed needs to keep hiking interest rates because inflation is still much too high. “Because financial conditions have not significantly tightened, the labor market continues to be strong and quite tight, and inflation is far above target, so monetary policy needs to be tightened further,” Waller said Friday during a speech in San Antonio, Texas. Waller’s comments were “pretty hawkish,” said Jackie Rogowicz, an investment analyst at Penn Mutual Asset Management, in a phone interview. She said she’s expecting the Fed to raise its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point in May, and at least at this stage, sees some potential for another rate hike in June. Inflation data released earlier in the week showed a larger-than-expected slowdown in wholesale prices, while so-called core consumer-price inflation remained stubbornly high as it ticked higher to a rate of 5.6% year-over-year. Read: This ETF designed to protect against inflation is attracting inflows as price pressures persist Marvin Loh, senior global strategist at State Street, said Waller’s comments were a departure from the more dovish tone evinced by other senior Fed officials since the Fed’s March policy meeting. “This is one of t …
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