U.S. stocks plunge cap­ping off worst week since March

The News-Times - - BUSINESS -

U.S. stocks plunged, cap­ping the worst week for the S&P 500 In­dex since March, as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion pressed its trade war with China and the lat­est batch of eco­nomic data added to con­cern that growth has peaked. Oil rose after OPEC agreed to cut out­put.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age shed over 500 points Fri­day, bring­ing its de­cline in the ab­bre­vi­ated trad­ing week to over 1,000. The S&P fin­ished the week down 4.6 per­cent. The trade out­look ap­peared to take a neg­a­tive turn after Huawei Tech­nolo­gies’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer was charged with con­spir­acy and the U.S. al­leged the com­pany vi­o­lated sanc­tions. The Fed­eral Re­serve’s Lael Brainard struck a hawk­ish tone in com­ments at a con­fer­ence.

“What we think is go­ing on is a repric­ing of growth,” said Ernie Ce­cilia, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at Bryn Mawr Trust Co. “The bond mar­ket is es­sen­tially say­ing we don’t see the kind of growth that we’ve had. So what the mar­ket is do­ing is repric­ing stocks, par­tic­u­larly those that have per­formed ex­traor­di­nar­ily well, to a lower growth rate.”

Stocks had opened higher after the Novem­ber jobs re­port showed mod­er­a­tion in the la­bor mar­ket, giv­ing suc­cor to pro­po­nents for a slower pace of Fed in­ter­e­strate in­creases. Trea­suries fluc­tu­ated on the data be­fore set­tling higher as risk aver­sion in­creased. The dol­lar fell.

U.S. pay­rolls and wages rose by less than fore­cast in Novem­ber while the un­em­ploy­ment rate held at the low­est in al­most five decades. The re­port comes with fi­nan­cial mar­kets on edge over whether Fed Chair Jerome Pow­ell is closer to paus­ing. Mar­ketim­plied U.S. rate ex­pec­ta­tions have been sink­ing amid the tu­mult in equities, but hawk­ish views still ex­ist among Fed of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Pow­ell and Brainard.

In Europe, stocks re­bounded from the worst day in more than two years, while Asian shares posted mod­est gains as in­vestors sought to end a bruis­ing week on a more up­beat note. The pound edged lower even after U.K. Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May was said to be weigh­ing a plan to post­pone the vote on her Brexit deal.

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