Wall Street Starts 2023 on a Gloomy Note

Major indexes drop on year's first trading day
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2023 3:51 PM CST
Wall Street Starts 2023 on a Gloomy Note
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Stocks fell on Wall Street’s first trading day of 2023 after closing out its worst year since 2008. The S&P 500 fell 15.36 points on Tuesday, or 0.4%, to 3,824.14. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10.88 points, or less than 0.1%, to 33,136.37. The Nasdaq fell 79.50 points, or 0.8%, to 10,386.98. Investors will be closely watching moves by central banks in coming months to fight inflation with higher interest rates, all the while bracing for the recession and higher unemployment that could result from those policies, the AP reports. This week, markets are looking ahead to a monthly report on the US job market that could provide clues on where the economy is headed.

Technology stocks were among the biggest weights on the market. Apple fell 3.7%. US oil prices settled 4.1% lower, weighing down energy stocks. Hess fell 5.2%. Facebook parent Meta Platforms rose 3.7% to lead a rally in communications services stocks. Gains in several big banks and other financial stocks also helped keep the market's losses in check. Wells Fargo rose 1.2%. Tesla plunged 12.2% after the electric vehicle maker's 2022 sales disappointed investors. Tesla said Monday that it sold a record 1.3 million vehicles last year, but the number fell short of CEO Elon Musk’s pledge to grow deliveries by 50% nearly every year. Gold producer Newmont rose 6.2% for one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 as prices for the precious metal rose.

Investors are opening a new year with the same concerns that dominated markets in 2022. Inflation is easing, but remains stubbornly hot. That has prompted the Federal Reserve to remain aggressive. The central bank, along with others worldwide, has been raising interest rates to slow economic growth. The Fed will release minutes from its December policy meeting on Wednesday, potentially giving investors more insight into its decision-making process and thoughts heading into 2023. The central bank's next policy decision on interest rates is set for Feb. 1. The government will release a report Wednesday on job openings for November, followed by a weekly report on unemployment on Thursday. The broader and closely-watched monthly report on employment, for December, will be released on Friday.

(More stock market stories.)

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