S&P 500 and Nasdaq close higher Friday, but fall for a third straight week

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose Friday, but still posted a weekly loss as recession fears continue to batter investor sentiment.

The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 3,844.82, while the and Nasdaq Composite added 0.2% to close at 10,497.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 176.44 points higher, or 0.5%, to 33,203.93.

The major indexes oscillated earlier in the session after the core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation, came in slightly hotter than economists expected on a year-over-year basis, indicating that inflation is sticking despite the Fed’s efforts to fight it.

“The economic numbers announced today highlight the difficulty for investors today, where weak numbers bring recession fears and strong numbers bring Fed fear,” said Louis Navellier, founder and chief investment officer of growth investing firm Navellier & Associates.

“You just can’t win right now on macro numbers,” he added. “That is why it’s now much more of a stock-picking market, but with all the index and ETF traders even stocks that are executing their business plan well can get pushed around meaningfully by associated losers.”

The S&P 500 ended the week down about 0.2% for the week, posting its third straight weekly decline. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, lost 2% for the week, also for the third down week in a row. The Dow was the outperformer, posting a 0.9% gain.

Recession fears have resurged recently dashing some investors’ hope for a year-end rally and leading to big losses in December. Investors worry that overtightening from central banks worldwide could force the economy into a downturn.

For December, the S&P 500 has lost 5.8%, while the Dow and Nasdaq have lost more than 4% and 8.5%, respectively. Those are the biggest monthly declines for the major averages since September. Stocks are also on pace for their worst annual performance since 2008.

Lea la cobertura del mercado de hoy en español aquí.

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