Rising recession fears pushed U.S. stocks briefly into a bear market on Friday with the S&P 500’s decline from its all-time high in January reaching 20% at one point. A dramatic late-day reversal pushed the S&P 500 slightly into the green at the closing bell.
The 30-stock index lifted itself out of the hole and gained 8.77 points Friday to close the week at 31,261.90.
The broader market poked ahead 0.57 points to 3,901.36. At the day’s lows, the S&P 500 was 20.9% below its intraday high in January. The index closed about 19% below its record.
There’s no official bear market designation on Wall Street. Some will count Friday’s decline at the intraday lows as confirmation of a bear market, whereas some strategists may say it’s not official until it closes 20% off its high.
Regardless, it’s the biggest downturn of this magnitude since the rapid bear market in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.
The NASDAQ Composite dropped 33.88 points to 11,354.62, and is already deep in bear market territory, trading 30% off its highs.
For the week, the Dow lost 2.9% for its first eight-week losing streak since 1923. The S&P 500 lost 3% for the week, while the NASDAQ shed 3.8%.
Wall Street continued dumping shares of semiconductor stocks Friday on recession fears and as Applied Materials lowered its guidance.
Applied Materials, a manufacturer of chip-making equipment, lost 3.9%. Shares of Nvidia gave up 2.5% and Advanced Micro Devices declined 3%.
Elsewhere, shares of Deere fell 14% after the heavy equipment maker reported a revenue miss. Shares of Caterpillar declined more than 4%. Industrials like Deere and Caterpillar are seen as barometers for the global economy.
Treasury prices gained ground, lowering yields to 2.78% from Thursday’s 2.85%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained 49 cents to $112.70 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices regained $2.40 to $1,843.60 U.S. an ounce.