February 4, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Stock futures are lower, as Wall Street awaits the last trading day of 2022

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 15, 2022 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Stock futures fell in overnight trading Thursday as investors prepared for the final trading day of the worst year for stocks since 2008.

Futures related to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points, or 0.12%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures traded down 0.14% and 0.08%, respectively.

The overnight moves followed a rally during the regular trading session, with the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 up nearly 2.6% and 1.8%, respectively. The Dow jumped 345 points, or 1.05%.

Over the course of the week, the Dow Jones and the S&P rose slightly, with the Nasdaq coming close to a modest loss. All major averages are down for the month of December and are poised to snap a two-month winning streak.

Friday marks the last day of trading in what has been a painful year for stocks. A volatile bear market, sticky inflation, and wild interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve have hurt growth and technology stocks. These factors also affected investor sentiment.

All three major averages are on track for their worst year since 2008, and are set to snap a three-year winning streak. The Dow Jones had the best performance among the indices in 2022, down 8.58%, while the S&P and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 19.24% and 33.03%, respectively.

Despite the annual losses, the Dow is on track for a quarterly gain of 15.65% and is poised to lose three straight quarters. It is also on track for its best quarter since the second quarter of 2020. The S&P is up 7.35% and is set to post three straight quarterly losses. The Nasdaq fell 0.92%, for the fourth consecutive negative quarter for the first time since 2001.

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All of the major S&P sectors ended Thursday with a gain, which led to the bullish push through telecoms services. For the quarter, consumer discretionary and telecom services are the only loss-making segments. Energy is the only sector on pace to post a year-over-year gain, after surging nearly 58%.

With the calendar year just around the corner, some investors believe the pain is far from over, and expect the bear market to continue until a recession or a central bank turnaround. Some project stocks will also reach new lows. Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50Park Investments, said Thursday’s moves likely stemmed from a combination of short covering, value investing and momentum joining the rally.

“Nothing has fundamentally changed,” he said. “We just had a huge drop. The market has extended to the downside, and it’s completely normal to see a bounce here.”

On the economic front, Chicago PMI data for December is due on Friday.

Gabriel Curtis contributed reporting

Correction: An earlier version of this story featured a chart that misstated the year-to-date decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.