NEW YORK (AP) — Stock markets in New York entered the weekend with heavy losses on Friday. Rising threats of war in the Middle East and renewed interest rate fears weighed on sentiment. American Express took a big plunge after disappointing quarterly results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 percent to close at 33,127.28. The broader S&P 500 fell 1.3 percent to 4,224.16, while the tech benchmark Nasdaq lost 1.5 percent to 12,983.81.
As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, the US is encouraged. US President Joe Biden welcomed the release of two American hostages by Hamas. They have been held since October 7 and are the first hostages allowed to return home. “We are working day and night to free all kidnapped Americans,” Biden stressed.
Federal Reserve Chairman Powell
Interest rate fears were fueled on Wall Street on Thursday by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said inflation in the US remains high and will require slower economic growth to bring it down. Powell also said he doesn’t think interest rates are too high right now. Interest rates on US 10-year government bonds briefly rose above 5 percent after Powell’s statements. The last time the ten-year interest rate was above 5 percent was sixteen years ago.
American Express fell more than 5 percent. The credit card company posted higher profits last quarter, thanks to continued growth in customers with so-called premium cards. With these exclusive credit cards, customers get all kinds of extras and benefits. The company had to set aside more money for non-performing loans.
SolarEdge’s share price plummets
Oil services provider Schlumberger, which provided the figures, fell nearly 3 percent. SolarEdge fell another 27 percent after a disappointing quarterly report. The solar power company significantly lowered its revenue forecast for the current quarter. According to CEO Svi Lando, the company is struggling with significant unexpected order cancellations. Electric car maker Tesla, which lost more than 9 percent of its stock market value on Thursday after disappointing results, also fell nearly 4 percent.
“Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator.”