Stock Market Today: Economic Data, Hawkish Fed Drag Stocks Lower Again

The major market indexes finished off their session lows, but still notched back-to-back weekly losses.

stock display board showing stocks lower
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was a terrible end to a terrible week, with markets suffering another big loss on Friday. Recession fears continue to mount, with today's services and manufacturing data only adding to concerns over a slowing economy. And hawkish talk from Federal Reserve officials only reinforced Fed Chair Jerome Powell's message from Wednesday's press conference that the central bank is willing to keep raising interest rates and hold them higher for longer in order to tame inflation. But in addition to rising recession worries, there was another factor that likely amplified the selloff. 

Beginning with that economic data. The preliminary reading for the S&P Global U.S. services sector index fell to a four-month low of 44.4 in December from November's reading of 46.2. Additionally, the S&P Global U.S. manufacturing index fell to 46.2 from 47.7, marking its lowest reading in 31 months. The data show that activity in both the services and manufacturing sectors continue to fall further into contraction territory.

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Karee Venema
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is the senior investing editor at Kiplinger.com. She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.