Investors sold off stocks on Friday morning, putting the major indexes on pace for another losing week and at levels below where they were when President Joe Biden took office on January 20, 2021.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 434 points in the first hour of trading, a 1.4 percent decline, to below 30,000. If stocks were to close at these levels, this would be the first close below 30,000 since June. On the day Biden was inaugurated, the Dow closed at 30,930.52.
The S&P fell 1.8 percent to 3,692, below the 3,799 level it hit on inauguration day. The Nasdaq Composite declined by 1.9 percent to 10,860. When Biden took office it was at 13,197.
Investors are concerned that the Fed’s battle to tame inflation will worsen the recession many expected next year. Bank of America said today in a note to clients that the path to a “soft landing” was now narrower and a harder landing more likely.
All but four of Dow stocks were down for the day. All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 were down. The worst performing sector was the energy sector, which dropped 6.25 percent. Investors are worried that a global recession could depress demand for energy. Health Care, often considered a respite in a bear market and a slumping economy, was the best performing sector with a 0.57 percent decline.