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Wall Street ends down after mostly negative week

EconomyDec 17, 2021 06:00PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - Wall Street finished lower on Friday, weighed down by Big Tech as investors worried about the Omicron coronavirus variant and digested the Federal Reserve's decision to end its pandemic-era stimulus faster.

All three main U.S. stock indexes ended with a decline for the week after the Fed on Wednesday signaled three quarter-percentage-point interest rate hikes by the end of 2022 to combat surging inflation.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) dropped 2.1% and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) lost 1.9%, both weighing on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 growth index lost 0.7% and the value index declined 1.4%.

All of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes fell, with financials leading the way down with a 2.3% drop. Energy lost 2.2%.

Adding to uncertainty, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said on Friday the pandemic could extend through next year. European countries geared up for further travel and social restrictions and a study warned that the rapidly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant was five times more likely to reinfect people than its predecessor, Delta.

Traders also pointed to year-end tax selling and the simultaneous expiration of stock options, stock index futures and index options contracts - known as triple witching - as potential causes for volatility.

"It's a big options expiration day," said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey. "And now you draw on top of that some Omicron, and you've got volatility, and I think it creates a lot of uncertainty amongst investors. Where are you going to position for the end of the year?" Heavyweight growth stocks including Nvidia and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have outperformed the broader market in 2021, while the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index has surged about 35%. The benchmark S&P 500 index gained around 23% in the same period.

In Friday's session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.48% to end at 35,365.44 points, while the S&P 500 lost 1.03% to 4,620.64.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.07% to 15,169.68.

On a positive note, the small-cap Russell 2000 index rallied 1% after having fallen more than 10% from a record high in early November.

With options expiring, volume on U.S. exchanges jumped to 16.6 billion shares, far above the 11.9 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

For the week, the S&P 500 fell 1.9%, the Dow lost 1.7% and the Nasdaq declined 2.9%.

In Friday's session, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) tumbled 6.4% after the Wall Street Journal reported the enterprise software maker is in talks to buy electronic medical records company Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) in a deal that could be valued at $30 billion. Shares of Cerner surged 12.9%.

FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX) rose almost 5% after the delivery firm reinstated its original fiscal 2022 forecast on Thursday, even as persistent labor woes chipped away profits.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.50-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.16-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and seven new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 28 new highs and 341 new lows.

Wall Street ends down after mostly negative week
 

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Comments (41)
Will Stewart
Will Stewart Dec 17, 2021 3:13PM ET
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The gov't keeps releasing Supposed JFK files, regarding his muhder Yet... according to Surveys and polls, Less than 1% of Americans Believe the CIA's story that a man who's record shows they were one of the Worst shots in the entire military, Could hit three different people, directly in the skul, from hundreds or thousands of yards away.  And, the CIA went completely out of their way to suppress numerous details Why, even release details....if Less  than 10% of americans believe it
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Dec 17, 2021 1:04PM ET
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rotation and more rotation....
TheLast LoserDon
TheLast LoserDon Dec 17, 2021 12:13PM ET
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Biggest investment JOKE in the world. This market should be up 2% today but no the manipulators have it down. What a JOKE. Right Mitchel?
S S Shet
pingo_0070 Dec 17, 2021 11:49AM ET
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no matter what ... on long term markets will move only higher and higher ...
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Dec 17, 2021 10:42AM ET
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You mean "Slide in FED purchases"...
Iyarin Boonnum
Iyarin Boonnum Dec 17, 2021 10:33AM ET
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Fed already destroyed us economy. Super hyper inflation out of control.
Ron Love
Ron Love Dec 17, 2021 10:33AM ET
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6.8% on an annualized basis is not hyperinflation.
Mayur Sangani
Mayur Sangani Dec 17, 2021 10:19AM ET
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Indian market already trap by fear from last two months
Elon Mustard
Elon Mustard Dec 17, 2021 10:18AM ET
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year end profit taking? technical correction driven by algorithms? sovereign funds rotation? (yesterday looked like nbim selling)
Elon Mustard
Elon Mustard Dec 17, 2021 10:18AM ET
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year end profit taking? technical correction driven by algorithms? sovereign funds rotation? (yesterday looked like nbim selling)
Jordan Dion
Jordan Dion Dec 17, 2021 9:55AM ET
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lol rotation  yes !!! down john is crashing too
 
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