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U.S. stocks slide Friday, as investors await details on next Fed hike

San Francisco Fed chief: Economy seems to be "cooling"
San Francisco Fed chief Mary Daly says economy seems to be "cooling" amid rate hikes 05:40

Stocks fell on Wall Street Friday, ending the S&P 500 index's four-week winning streak

After a mixed bag of corporate earnings, more solid jobs data and a steady retail sales report, investors are already looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming next week for indications of when and how much the U.S. central bank might raise its main borrowing rate.

The S&P 500 closed the week down 55 points, or 1.3%, at 4,228, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9%. The Nasdaq dropped 2%, as technology stocks had some of the biggest losses. 

More interest-rate hikes to come

Minutes of the Fed's July meeting released this week said inflation still is too high and made clear the central bank will keep raising interest rates. 

The Fed has raised interest rates twice this year by 0.75 percentage points, triple its usual margin. Forecasters expect a hike at the board's September meeting, but whether it's another three-quarters of a point hike or a smaller one may be determined by whether the Fed is influenced more by an historically strong labor market or an economy that's contracted two quarters in a row.

"With the rebound in activity growth in July coming against a backdrop of easing inflation, we still think the Fed will hike rates by a smaller 50bp next month," wrote Andrew Hunter, an economist at Capital Economics, in a research note on Wednesday.

Inflation slowed in July as gasoline prices dropped 05:09

"Fed tightening expectations aren't changing a whole lot (although they are creeping up modestly)," analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge said in a report.

Meme stock Bed Bath & Beyond sank 40% after the high-profile activist investor Ryan Cohen confirmed that he's bailed out of the stock. General Motors rose after reinstating its dividend, and Foot Locker jumped 20%  after naming former Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon as its CEO Friday, replacing Richard Johnson, and reporting earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates.

Bitcoin fell 9.2%, to $21,245.09 each, dragging the rest of the crypto market down with it.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.40 to $89.10 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract surged $2.39 to $90.50 on Thursday. Brent crude, the price basis for international trading, fell $1.62 to $94.97 per barrel in London. It jumped $2.94 the previous day to $96.59.

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