The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled below the key 30,000 level on Thursday as investors worried the Federal Reserve’s more aggressive approach toward inflation would bring the economy into a recession.
The 30-stock index staggered 741.46 points, or 2.4%, to finish the day’s trading at 29,927.07, after the Fed announced its largest rate hike since 1994, but reversed those gains and then some on Thursday, tumbling to the lowest level since January 2021.
While 30,000 isn’t necessarily a technical level for the Dow, these round 1,000-point thresholds are seen by many on Wall Street as key psychological levels for the market.
The S&P 500 sank 123.22 points, or 3.3%, to 3,666.77.
The NASDAQ Composite retreated 453.06 points, or 4.1%, to 10,646.10, and touched its lowest level since September 2020.
It’s been a rough week, the Dow finishing Thursday’s session down 5.2%, while the S&P subsided 6.6% and the NASDAQ gave up 6.7% each, for the week and well below record levels.
Home Depot, Intel, Walgreens, JPMorgan, 3M, and American Express hit new 52-week lows amid growing recession fears while tech shares dropped after a bounce on Wednesday. Amazon, Apple and Netflix all slid more than 3%. Tesla docked more than 8%, and Nvidia shed 6%.
Travel stocks also took a leg lower. United and Delta tumbled 7% each, while cruise line stocks Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean plummeted 10%.
All major sectors declined on Thursday, led by consumer discretionary and energy, down 5% each. Healthcare, which is often seen as recession-proof, also dipped by about 2%.
Staples stocks, known for their steady cash flows that could hold up during recessions, traded into the green or near the flatline. Procter & Gamble gained 1.6%. Colgate-Palmolive and Walmart were slightly higher.
Data out Thursday further indicated a dramatic slowdown in economic activity. Housing starts dropped 14% in May, topping the 2.6% decline expected by economists polled by Dow Jones.
Treasury prices gained strength, thus lowering yields to 3.25% from Wednesday’s 3.28%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices recovered $1.52 to $116.83 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices popped $37.80 to $1,857.40 U.S. an ounce.