U.S. stock indexes end April with massive losses

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U.S. stock indexes end April with massive losses

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE at the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

The three major stock indexes in the United States ended the month with significant losses as the Nasdaq Composite finished its worst month since October 2008.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped around 12% in April after falling 4.2% on Friday alone. Amazon’s stock price plummeted more than 14% during a massive sell-off after the company’s quarterly earnings report showed nearly $4 billion in losses.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 fell about 3.6% on Friday for a monthly loss of more than 8%, its third monthly loss in a row and its biggest drop since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 2.8% for a monthly loss of about 4%.

“The markets are trying to wrap around a lot of different cross-currents,” BMO Wealth Management’s Yung-Yu Ma told CNBC.

“With the Fed raising rates and all the uncertainties that the global economy is facing, it’s hard to get excited about paying the multiples that currently prevail in a lot of places in the market.”

The Nasdaq, having fallen 23% below its high, now sits in bear market territory, which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines as when an index falls by 20% or more over at least a two-month period amid pessimistic market sentiment.

Bank of America analysts on Friday cut 100 points off their year-end target for the S&P 500 target, CNN Business reported.

Investors can expect the April jobs report and more corporate earnings statements next week, along with the highly anticipated policy meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve released minutes from its March 15-16 board meeting which show that policymakers would have wanted to set a larger interest rate last month as it took steps to combat inflation but opted for a more modest increase.

Officials also “generally agreed” that the central bank should shrink its balance sheet by $95 billion per month and are expected to approve the reduction in May.

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