Stock market today: Dow losses accelerate, closes down more than 600 points

  • Stock Market News
Stock market today: Dow losses accelerate, closes down more than 600 points
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer -- U.S. stocks accelerated losses heading into the close of trading on Wednesday as investors studied data that showed the economy was cooling.

At 16:01 ET (21:01 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 614 points or 1.8%, while the S&P 500 was down 1.6% and the NASDAQ Composite was down 1.2%. All three indexes rose to start the day.

The downward move weighed on what had been a January rally. The S&P is up 3% so far this month, and the Nasdaq is up 5%. The Dow has been lagging, up just 1%.

The Federal Reserve's beige book , a periodic report on economic conditions throughout its 12 districts, said price growth is expected to moderate though there won't be much economic growth for the next few months.

Retail sales for December fell more than expected, giving investors hope that interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve wouldn’t have to be as aggressive as they were last year. Holiday sales rose 5.3% but came in below analyst expectations.

The market has already been betting that the Fed’s next rate move would be smaller than the moves it made last year, with the expectation being a quarter of a percentage point rate increase in February.

Adding to the hope that inflation is waning, producer prices also rose less than expected for the year.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) shares fell 1.9% after it said it was cutting 10,000 jobs and taking a $1.2 billion charge as it braces for slower revenue growth.

Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA ) shares rose 3.3% after the COVID-19 vaccine maker said it had success with older adults in a trial of its experimental vaccine for RSV, a contagious respiratory virus.

Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW ) stock fell 2.5% after it fell short of expectations for fourth-quarter earnings

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