Wall Street rises modestly in early trade

US stocks sink after Fed rate hike, Dow swings over 700 points to close down 1.5%

US stocks sink after Fed rate hike, Dow swings over 700 points to close down 1.5%

Wall Street suffered its second straight rout on Thursday as worries about a government shutdown added to upset at the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate hike.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 414 points down Friday for its largest weekly plunge since the 2008 financial crisis.

The market convulsion saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average fall by as much as 650 points at one point during midafternoon trading, with the S&P 500 down 2.4 percent and the Nasdaq dipping into bear market territory after a decline of 2.6 percent.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped another 34 points, or 2.6 percent, to 1,314.

The benchmark S&P 500 index ended a brutal week down 7 percent Friday, led by big drops in former market favorites like Facebook and Amazon.

At 2:15 p.m. Eastern time, the S&P 500 index was down 49 points to 2,456, its lowest since August 2017. CNBC reports that companies in the S&P 500 have lost a total of $2.39 trillion in market cap in December. Markets tend to move, however, on what investors anticipate will happen further out.

The Nasdaq is down 382.26 points, or 5.5 percent. The technology-driven NASDAQ Composite closed at 6528.41, down 108.42 or -1.63%.

Fears over a potential partial government shutdown were a main concern on Thursday.

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"We would use all available tools" if the economy got significantly worse, Williams said, though he didn't predict the economy would turn south and pledged the Fed would "take the right policy decision to keep this economy strong".

The US stock market has finished a week-long downward spiral that has many investors fearing a recession is on the way.

Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said investors felt Fed Chairman Jerome Powell came off as unconcerned about the state of the US economy, despite deepening worries on Wall Street that growth could slow even more in 2019 and 2020.

Oil prices continued to retreat.

The Dow is down 1,240.91 points, or 5.1 percent. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 4.8 percent to $45.88 a barrel in NY, and it's dropped 40 percent since early October.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.80 percent.

The Dow is down 2,273.85 points, or 9.2 per cent.

As recently as October, yields had been at a seven-year high of 3.261 percent.

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