Stock markets saw a fall in many stock prices during the week giving up any early strength they had shown as Wall Street continues to struggle this year in an environment of rising interest rates. After giving up a 2.1% gain earlier in the day, the Nasdaq Composite ended the day down 1.3% on Thursday. The Nasdaq, which has many of the market's top tech names, finished Wednesday more than 10% lower than its November high, signaling a technical drop. The pain only continued through to the end of the week.
After rising more than 400 points earlier in the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 313.26 points to 34,715.39 on Thursday. For the first time since December 2021, the 30-stock average closed below its 200-day moving average. Following a 1.53% gain, the S&P 500 dipped 1.1% to 4,482.73 on Thursday. For the first time since October 2021, the S&P 500 fell below 4,500 points.
Stocks fell as bond rates stayed high, which was part of a market revaluation as the Federal Reserve prepared to tighten monetary policy. The central bank meets next week, with markets seeing only a slim possibility of interest rate movement. Traders, on the other hand, have fully priced in the first of four 0.25 percentage point hikes predicted through 2022.
Unfavorable seasonal conditions after the holidays contributed to the third consecutive weekly increase in unemployment claims announced by the Labor Department on Thursday. However, coronavirus cases caused by the Omicron strain are decreasing, and seasonal variables, the government's technique for smoothing out cyclical swings in data, is expected to return to normal soon, implying that the current rise in applications is a blip.
Baker Hughes stock jumped after the global leader in energy technology posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. For the quarter ended in December, the oil field services company announced adjusted quarterly earnings of $0.25 per share, exceeding Wall Street consensus projections of $0.28 per share. Revenue increased 0.4% to $5.52 billion from a year ago, according to the energy services company. Analysts had predicted $5.49 billion, which was also exceeded.
United Airlines' stock dropped after the firm released its quarterly results and warned that the omicron virus has hampered bookings and may postpone the company's pandemic recovery. United reported $8.2 billion in revenue, which was slightly higher than expert projections of $8.0 billion and $3.4 billion in the prior-year quarter.