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Dow closes down 981 points Friday, books worst day since October 2020

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 4/22/2022 Joy Wiltermuth
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Video: Dow suffers worst decline since 2020 (Reuters)

Stocks finish sharply lower Friday to book weekly losses, as Wall Street focused on a potentially compressed timeline for the Federal Reserve to swiftly raise interest rates in a bid to curtail inflation at 1980s levels. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed about 981 points, or 2.8%, ending near 33,811. It marked the worst daily percentage drop for the index since Oct. 28, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market data. The S&P 500 index fell 2.8% and the Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 2.6%. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was credited with adding to market jitters after he signaled support on Thursday for a bigger 50 basis point rate increase at the central bank's May policy meeting, rather than the more typical 25 basis point hike. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said Friday afternoon that she didn't want to "shock" the economy with a 75 basis point interest rate hike at the Fed's next meeting in May. Stocks briefly trimmed their losses following those remarks, but still finished the session at its lows. For the week, the Dow was down 1.9%, the S&P 500 off 2.8% and the Nasdaq lower by 3.8%, according to FactSet.

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