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April 29, 2022, 4:57 p.m. EDT

Dow, S&P 500 book worst April since 1970 as U.S. stocks close sharply lower

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By Christine Idzelis and William Watts

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index suffered their worst April performance since 1970, as all three major U.S. stock benchmarks ended Friday with sharp losses. The Nasdaq Composite had its worst April since 2000.

U.S. stocks dropped as investors weighed fresh inflation data, disappointing results from Amazon.com Inc. and a warning on rising costs from Apple Inc.

How did stock indexes perform?

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.06% dropped 939.18 points, or 2.8%, to close at 32,977.21.

  • The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.33% dropped 155.57 points, or 3.6%, to finish at 4,131.93, re-entering correction territory.

  • The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.40% shed 536.89 points, or 4.2%, to end at 12,334.64.

On Thursday , the Dow rose 614.46 points, or 1.9%, while the S&P 500 gained 2.5% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 3.1%. The Dow and S&P 500 marked their best daily percentage climbs since March 9, while the Nasdaq saw its best day since March 16, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

For the week, the Dow dropped 2.5%, the S&P 500 slumped 3.3% and the tech-laden Nasdaq lost 3.9%. In April, the Dow fell 4.9%, the S&P 500 tumbled 8.8% and the Nasdaq plunged 13.3%.

What drove markets?

U.S. stocks slumped Friday, with technology shares weighing on indexes.

“Tech is having a tough day,” with tumbling shares of e-commerce giant Amazon.com dragging down stock benchmarks, said Michael Reynolds, vice president of investment strategy at wealth manager Glenmede, in a phone interview Friday.

Shares of Amazon AMZN closed down around 14% Friday, after reporting its first loss in seven years . The company’s slide made it the second biggest loser in the S&P 500 index after VeriSign Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205260150/composite VRSN +0.72% , which plunged 14.3%, FactSet data show.

All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 fell sharply, with consumer discretionary /zigman2/quotes/210600228/delayed XX:SP500.25 -0.38% , real estate /zigman2/quotes/210599956/delayed XX:SP500.60 -1.12% and information technology /zigman2/quotes/210600213/delayed XX:SP500.45 -0.09% posting the biggest losses, according to FactSet data. Shares of Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +1.32% dropped 3.7% after the tech giant topped earnings and set a revenue record, but warned of billions in added costs from supply-chain woes.

April was consumed by worries on several fronts, including economic growth in China where COVID-19 cases are forcing lockdowns in several cities as well as supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“There’s a lot for the market to be grappling with right now,” said Reynolds.

The CBOE Volatility Index /zigman2/quotes/210598281/delayed VIX +1.23% was trading around 33 on Friday afternoon, well above the 200-day moving average of about 21.5, according to FactSet data.

“The petrified tail-chasing we have seen this week as equity markets swing from ‘we’re all doomed, get me out,’ to ‘I don’t want to miss the absolute bottom of the stock market, get me in’ is perhaps indicative of the state of confusion out there,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, told clients in a note.

On the heels of Thursday’s weak U.S. first-quarter economic growth data , the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge — the core personal consumer expenditure price index for March —rose 0.3% with the headline index up 0.9%.

The headline rate of inflation climbed 6.6% over the 12 months through March, up from 6.4% in February, for the steepest increase since 1981, as measured by the PCE price index. But the rate of core inflation over the past 12 months slipped to 5.2%, from 5.3%, marking the first month-to-month decline in more than a year.

“The slowdown in year-over-year core PCE inflation is really nice to see. Inflation may have peaked in March, although the evidence is still a little ambiguous,” said Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica Bank, in a note.

See : U.S. inflation rate surges to 6.6% based on PCE index — but there’s a silver lining

/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
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30,964.19
+17.20 +0.06%
Volume: 114.66M
June 29, 2022 12:19p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,809.06
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Volume: 912.44M
June 29, 2022 12:19p
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US : Nasdaq
11,137.30
-44.24 -0.40%
Volume: 2.71M
June 29, 2022 12:19p
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/zigman2/quotes/205260150/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 165.45
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Volume: 160,746
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P/E Ratio
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N/A
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$17.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.47M
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XX : S&P US
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Volume: 211.87M
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XX : S&P US
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June 29, 2022 12:09p
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XX : S&P US
2,246.24
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Volume: 214.85M
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/zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 139.26
+1.82 +1.32%
Volume: 31.22M
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P/E Ratio
22.74
Dividend Yield
0.66%
Market Cap
$2224.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.38M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598281/delayed
US : Cboe Indices
28.71
+0.35 +1.23%
Volume: 0.00
June 29, 2022 11:04a
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