The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated on Friday as investors prepared to conclude a challenging month. The blue-chip index lost 203 points, or 0.6%, with Travelers Companies and Walmart leading the decline. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 dropped 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite remained near flat. However, Nike shares rallied more than 6% after the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that surpassed analyst expectations.
Earlier in the day, the Dow and S&P 500 were higher as traders responded positively to data indicating a potential easing of inflation. The Dow had climbed more than 225 points, or 0.7%, at its session peak, while the S&P 500 rose by 0.8%. At its best point in the session, the Nasdaq Composite rallied around 1.4%. The latest reading of the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation metric, showed that core PCE rose 0.1% in August and 3.9% annually. Economists had expected a monthly increase of 0.2% and an annual increase of 3.9%.
The Dow and S&P 500 are expected to end the week with losses of 1.2% and 0.6%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite is predicted to finish 0.3% higher. Overall, the market is set to see sharp losses for the month and quarter, making it the worst month this year for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Traders have expressed concerns about the economic outlook and the potential for a government shutdown, which added to the market’s recent decline.