Markets set for worst year since crash as the sell-off continues

Markets set for worst year since crash as the sell-off continues

Markets set for worst year since crash as the sell-off continues

The Dow is down 2,273.85 points, or 9.2 per cent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.52-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.32-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The indexes, which have had their worst early December since 1980, are now down more than nine percent for the year.

This photo made with a slow shutter speed shows the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday evening, December 20, 2018. The NASDAQ Composite briefly dipped into bear market territory on Thursday and is now down almost 20 percent from its recent high.

Investors have responded to a weakening outlook for the US economy by selling stocks and buying ultra-safe USA government bonds.

The S&P 500, already on pace for its worst December since the Great Depression, hit its lowest since August 2017.

Helping stanch the bleeding on Friday was Nike Inc, which jumped 6.2 percent after the company's quarterly results beat Wall Street estimates on strength in North America. An immediate sell-off followed the announcement, with the Dow falling by more than 500 points during Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference.




The S&P 500 .SPX , the benchmark for USA stocks, is not yet in a bear market, though more than 60 percent of its components are.

Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell didn't appear concerned about the state of the USA economy, despite deepening worries among investors that growth could slow even more in 2019 and 2020.

Microsoft and Amazon each fell 3.4 percent. The S&P 500 is on track for its first annual loss in a decade.

The Dow is down 1,240.91 points, or 5.1 percent. The Nasdaq fell 115 points, or 1.7 percent, to 6,524. The Dow fell to its lowest since October 2017, while the Nasdaq sank to a 15-month low, toying with bear market territory for the second day in a row.

UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the country, fell 1.8 percent.

-Gold lost 0.8 percent to $1,258.10 an ounce and silver fell 1.1 percent to $14.70 an ounce. Both companies reported weaker sales than analysts were expecting. The energy sector has been a major drag on the S&P 500 Index, with oil prices trading near a 17-month low on fears of a global economic slowdown. The Nasdaq plunged 8.4% on the week, its worst since November 2008.

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