Dow drops but narrowly avoids confirming bear market status

THE blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled to its lowest level since November 2020 on Friday but narrowly missed ending more than 20% below its Jan 4 closing record high.

A Dow close below 29,439.72 would have confirmed a bear market that began from that record, according to a widely used definition. The Dow fell 486.27 points or 1.62% to end at 29,590.41.

The Dow is the only one of the three main indexes not to have bear market status. The S&P 500 notched that grim milestone in June and the Nasdaq in March.

The renewed selling pressure in markets came in a week that saw the US Federal Reserve raise interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for a third straight time and a vow to keep it going until inflation is under control.

It has been a tumultuous year for Wall Street, plagued by worries about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an energy crisis in Europe and the end of the easy money policy globally.

The S&P 500 has lost 23% this year and the Nasdaq has shed 31%.

The last time the three indexes pulled back so sharply was in 2020 during the heights of the pandemic selloff.

Heightened fears of a US economic downturn next year and its impact on corporate profits have prompted brokerages to downgrade their year-end targets for the S&P 500. – Sept 24, 2022

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