The major indexes gave back sharp gains from earlier in the day. Both the S&P500 (SPX)
and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
ended in negative territory, down 0.5% and 1.4%, respectively. The S&P 500 has fallen for three straight days and is now down 10% from its record high. The Nasdaq is nearly 18% below its peak.
Tea Dow (UNDUE)
finished essentially flat, losing about 7 points after surging more than 600 points earlier in the day.
All three indexes traded sharply higher earlier in the session after some better-than-expected economic data distracted from the increasingly hawkish tones of the Federal Reserve.
“It is typical for stocks to trade in an erratic fashion after a Fed meeting as investors digest the outcome,” said Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer and chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Service.
It has been a turbulent few weeks in the market amid worries about inflation, economic growth, Fed policy and the Russia-Ukraine situation. The S&P 500, which started the new year with a record high, has since closed in the green only five times.
Before the opening bell, data showed America’s economy expanded by 5.7% in 2021, the best performance since the Reagan administration. The fourth quarter of the year also beat economists’ forecasts with an annualized growth rate of 6.9%.
The data distracted investors from the increasingly hawkish Federal Reserve, which on Wednesday signaled a first interest rate increase could come in March.
That said, economists predict that the solid end to 2021 could come at the expense to a wobbly start to 2022 as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is weighing on business activity.
“Investors should not worry too much about weak-ish January economic data, as it is likely temporary, but certainly there does seem to be the added whiff of stagflation in some of the consumption data recently,” said John Vail, chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management, in emailed comments.
Earnings season continues in full swing with Apple (AAPL)
due to report after the close. The company’s shares were flat after giving back most of their earnings.
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