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Dow leaps nearly 300 points but ends week sharply lower

CNBC logo CNBC 10/12/2018 Fred Imbert and Alexandra Gibbs


Stocks ended sharply higher after a volatile trading session Friday but still posted sharp losses for the week as traders fretted over rising interest rates, high technology valuations and worries about a possible economic slowdown. 

The Dow gained 287 points, led by a 4.7 percent surge in Visa. The S&P 500 jumped 1.4 percent as the tech sector surged 3.2 percent. The Nasdaq outperformed, surging 2.3 percent. 

Despite the strong gains Friday, the Dow and S&P 500 finished the week down by more than 4 percent, while the Nasdaq posted a 3.7 percent weekly loss.

Wasif Latif, the head of global multiassets at USAA, said investors should remain cautious in the near term. "It's too early to tell if we're out of the woods yet," he said. "We have to wait and see how the market reacts in the next few days." 

Sentiment was rocked around the globe, as investors grew nervous over the rise in interest rates and high valuations in tech shares.

The benchmark 10-year hit its highest level in 2011 earlier this week, sparking fears that rising borrowing costs could slow down the economy. President Donald Trump has recently criticized the U.S. Federal Reserve for the decline in stock markets, saying Wednesday that he wasn't happy with how the central bank continued to raise interest rates.

Meanwhile, technology shares, the best performers this year, dropped more than 3.5 percent this week. 

"I don't see evidence of what you'd like to see in a bottom," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. He noted markets tend to bottom after more signs of capitulation and widespread panic, which we haven't seen thus far. 

The Cboe Volatility index hit its highest level since February this week. It traded at 25.18 on Friday, up about 70 percent.

"There are two things you should do in these situations. First, make a portfolio inventory. Figure out what you own and why you own it," said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Private Bank. "The second is make a shopping list." 

He noted the volatility will likely continue through the current earnings season. 

Wells and Citigroup both reported better-than-expected earnings, along with J.P. Morgan Chase, to kick off the third quarter earnings season. Expectations for this earnings season are high. Analysts polled by FactSet expected S&P 500 earnings to grow by 19 percent. 

"With the earnings that came out, you'd think the market would be stronger," said Mark Esposito, CEO of Esposito Securities. He added the market still has room to run higher but noted: "The last two days may foreshadow what we could see at the end of the cycle."

Gains in global stocks Friday, coupled with tech's rebound, helped ebb the recent selling pressure for the moment. Asian stocks closed broadly higher overnight, while European shares were up for most of the day. In the U.S., Netflix and Amazon surged 5.8 percent and 4 percent, respectively.


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