U.S. Stocks Fall as September Heads to Worst Month Since 2020

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U.S. Stocks Fall as September Heads to Worst Month Since 2020
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks opened lower on Friday as stocks headed for their worst month since the start of the pandemic.

At 9:40 ET (13:40) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 193 points or 0.7%, while the S&P 500 was down 0.6% and the NASDAQ Composite was down 0.5%.

September could end up being the worst performance for the Dow since March 2020, and the three indexes are heading for their worst first nine-month performance in 20 years.

Investors have been worrying that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes will overshoot the mark and tip the economy into a recession. But the Fed is determined to cool inflation , acknowledging that its actions may result in some economic pain.

On Friday, the Fed’s Vice Chair Lael Brainard underscored the need to tame inflation no matter what, saying policy will need to be restrictive for some time. “For these reasons, we are committed to avoiding pulling back prematurely.”

Earlier this month, the Fed raised rates 0.75 points for the third time in a row, pushing the benchmark rate to 3% to 3.25%. Rising rates are cooling off the housing market and changing consumer behavior, as reported by a number of companies including CarMax (NYSE: KMX ), which said sentiment and inflation were pressuring sales of used cars.

Athletic apparel maker Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE ) said margins would remain under pressure because of markdowns to clear inventory, and its stock fell 12%.

Oil fell. Crude Oil WTI Futures was down 1.5%, to $79.97 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures crude fell 1.7% to $85.69 a barrel. Gold Futures rose 0.3% to $1674.

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