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Stocks snap 9-week win streak as Dow, S&P 500 have worst start since 2016


Stocks wobbled Friday, ending their longest consecutive weekly run in the green since 2004 as new economic data intensified the debate about when the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates.

Investors digested more strong labor market data that will play into expectations for the Fed’s interest-rate cuts. But after some positive momentum earlier in the day, negative sentiment set in. The weak finish put an end to what had been a 9-week winning streak, with the Dow and S&P 500 posting their worst start to a year since 2016.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) crawled above the flatline. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed nearly 0.2% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) ticked up about 0.1%.

The major indexes traveled both ways throughout the day after the release of the December US jobs report, which showed the US economy added 216,000 jobs in December, higher than the 175,000 expected by economists. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%.

Separate data from Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed services activity slowed in December. Its services PMI for the month came in at 50.6, down from November’s reading of 52.7. While a reading above 50 indicates expansion, the December figure marked the lowest level for services activity since May.

Stocks have slumped in the first week of 2024 in a marked reversal of a roaring rally powered by high hopes the Federal Reserve will soon start easing monetary policy. But doubts have set in about whether policymakers are prepared to pivot.

Read more: What the Fed rate-hike pause means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards

Against that backdrop, US bond yields continued to rise, with the 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX) up about 5 basis points to 4.04% after surging Thursday.

Elsewhere, iPhone supplier Foxconn (2354.TW) said it expects revenue to drop in the first quarter amid slower market demand. Apple (AAPL) shares slipped, adding to losses after two analysts downgraded the iPhone maker on concerns about sales of its next smartphone. The slide in Apple’s share price erased more than $175 billion in market value.

Live11 updates

  • Dow, S&P 500 worst start to a year since 2016

    Stocks lost their footing on Friday, ending what had been a 9-week winning streak, the longest consecutive weekly run in the green since 2004, and setting the Dow and the S&P 500 up for the worst start to a year since 2016.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose just above the flatline. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) almost 0.2% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) ticked up about 0.1%.

  • A look at the week ahead

    The first full trading week of 2024 is arriving.

    How new economic data will clarify or complicate the next steps for the Federal Reserve will be top of mind for many investors, especially following December’s robust jobs report.

    Fresh inflation data will arrive next week. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report is…

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Read More: Stocks snap 9-week win streak as Dow, S&P 500 have worst start since 2016

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