U.S. stocks were falling as recession fears return
By Liz Moyer
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks were falling after new data on the labor market fueled fresh fears about the Federal Reserve's interest rate increases.
At 10:10 ET (15:10 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 150 points or 0.5%, while the S&P 500 was down 0.5%, and the NASDAQ Composite was down 0.7%.
Worries were rising as investors feared the Fed 's successive rate increases could push the economy into a recession. The central bank is expected to continue to raise rates until its benchmark rate is over 5%, from 4.25% to 4.5% where it is now.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard argues in favor of getting rates above 5% as quickly as possible. But Boston Fed President Susan Collins favors a more moderate pace. "More measured rate adjustments in the current phase will better enable us to address the competing risks monetary policy now faces," she said Thursday.
Analysts expect the Fed to raise rates by another quarter of a percentage point when it meets from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.
Companies have been battling the effects of higher prices and shifts in consumer spending. Product giant Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG ) warned of higher commodity prices pressuring profit, and its shares fell 0.7%.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS ) shares were down 5.6% after it raised its provision for credit losses, a signal it expects credit quality to deteriorate down the road.
And software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) was down another 1.4% after saying it was going to cut 10,000 jobs and take a $1.2 billion severance charge as it braces for a slowdown.
Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell to 190,000 last week, lower than the expected 214,000, adding to worries that the still tight labor market could convince the Fed to continue its aggressive rate hikes.
After an early rally that lifted all three indexes to start 2023, the Dow and S&P 500 had their biggest drops in more than a month on Wednesday, with the Dow shedding more than 600 points.
Oil rose. Crude Oil WTI Futures was up 0.5% to $80.22 a barrel while Brent Oil Futures was up 0.5% to $85.44 a barrel. Gold Futures was up 0.5% to $1917.
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