Dow falls as stormy December on Wall Street continues

Jermaine Castillo
December 21, 2018

The Nikkei 225 in Japan lost 1.8 per cent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1 per cent and South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.4 per cent. The S&P 500 is now in the red for 2018 by 4%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,675.

Energy is down and health care stocks are down on federal judge's ruling last week saying the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The central bank has forecast three more hikes in 2019, but investors think Powell, who has faced criticism from President Donald Trump, may signal a slower path of increases next year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 400 points, or 1.68%, and on track to close at its lowest level since the beginning of April. Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 34 cents to $56.60 a barrel. The S&P 500 closed at 2,546.16 for a gain of 0.22 points or 0.01%. Higher rates can slow economic growth and the US economy is expected to cool off in 2019.

United States preparing for ‘full’ and ‘rapid’ withdrawal from Syria
The Turks have targeted USA -backed Kurdish troops along the Syria-Turkey border, which Turkey considers an insurgent threat. Defense Secretary Mattis never wavered on continuing the Obama administration's short-sighted "only ISIS" strategy in Syria.

The S&P 500 index, the benchmark for many investors and funds, finished at its lowest level since October 9, 2017. West Texas Intermediate oil dropped more than 8 percent at one point, tumbling past $46 a barrel as traders fretted about the outlook for growth.

The Nasdaq is down 126.75 points, or 1.8 percent.

"With increased stock market volatility and signs of slower growth overseas, there are increasing calls for the Fed to halt its rate increases", wrote David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds on Monday.

HCA, the largest publicly traded hospital operator, fell 2.4 percent and Centene, an insurer, lost 5.4 percent.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Fastest-Selling Switch Game in U.S.
It's also the fast-selling game in the 19-year-old Smash series, according to USA sales data that Nintendo released Tuesday . No mention was made of the Switch Online service , which launched in September and is required to play Super Smash Bros .

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2.6 percent to $49.88 a barrel in NY. FedEx's warning follows Caterpillar Inc., a bellwether of global growth, that was punished by investors in October after repeating its warnings of rising costs due to higher steel prices and USA tariffs.

"If the Fed doesn't hike rates, that would be concerning because it would mean the institution miscommunicated in a substantial way with the market", Mr Cahill said. She canceled a vote on the deal last week because it was clear legislators were going to reject it. But he said investors might be startled if the Fed doesn't raise rates this week, as has been widely expected.

ITALY: There was also some relief, particularly in Europe, that Italy had reached an agreement with the European Commission on its budget plans, which the EU's executive arm had warned could break the euro's rules and lead to legal action. J&J shares ended 2.9 percent lower.

Trump pressures Fed before meeting, warns against 'another mistake'
Some economic indicators-including USA economic growth and employment-are healthy and tilt the scales towards a rate increase. But this time, risks to the economy appear to be rising. "Don't let the market become any more illiquid than it already is".

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER