WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of morning trading on Friday, extending the sharp pullback seen in the previous session. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 briefly climbed into positive territory after seeing initial weakness but have since rejoined the Dow in the red.
Currently, the Dow is down 282.06 points or 0.8 percent at 35,831.56, the Nasdaq is down 34.61 points or 0.2 percent at 14,772.20 and the S&P 500 is down 22.48 points or 0.5 percent at 4,636.55.
A steep drop by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is weighing on the Dow, with the financial giant tumbling by 4.9 percent despite reporting better than expected fourth quarter earnings.
Citigroup (C) has also moved notably lower after reporting a notable decrease in fourth quarter profits, while Wells Fargo (WFC) has moved to the upside after reporting fourth quarter results that beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines.
Traders are also reacting to a slew of U.S. economic data, including a Commerce Department report unexpectedly showing a steep drop in U.S. retail sales in the month of December.
The Commerce Department said retail sales tumbled by 1.9 percent in December after edging up by a revised 0.2 percent in November.
The sharp pullback surprised economists, who had expected retail sales to come in unchanged compared to the 0.3 percent growth originally reported for the previous month.
Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the unexpected slump in retail sales appears to mainly reflect the ongoing impact of higher prices and supply shortages.
Inflation concerns have also contributed to a bigger than expected drop in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of January, according to preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday.
The report showed the consumer sentiment index fell to 68.8 in January from 70.6 in December. Economist had expected the index to edge down to 70.0.
The Federal Reserve also released a report unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in U.S. industrial production in the month of December.
The Fed said industrial production edged down by 0.1 percent in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in November.
Economists had expected industrial production to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.5 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the Labor Department unexpectedly showed a modest decrease in U.S. import prices in the month of December.
Transportation stocks have moved significantly lower over the course of the morning, dragging the Dow Jones Transportation Average down by 1.6 percent.
Considerable weakness has also emerged among housing stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent drop by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.
Chemical, retail and commercial real estate stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while energy stocks are moving higher along with the price of crude oil.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved notably lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both down by 0.7 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have come under pressure over the course of the morning. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.5 basis points at 1.756 percent.
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