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Dow futures fall more than 300 points as Wall Street selloff continues

Wall Street pointed toward more losses at open

Stock futures were lower Friday morning as investors continued to dump stocks into year-end on fears a recession is ahead next year because of the Federal Reserve’s unrelenting rate hiking.

Futures tied to the Dow jones Industrial Average lost 358 points, or 1.07%. S&P 500 futures lost 1.01% and Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.56%.

Stocks that would suffer in a recession declined in premarket trading Friday, with shares of GM and Caterpillar each off more than 1%.

Meanwhile, shares of Olive Garden-parent Darden Restaurants rose slightly in the premarket after reporting earnings that topped estimates.

Those moves follow a rough day for markets. The Dow dropped 764.13 points, or 2.25%, on Thursday for its worse daily performance since September. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 2.49% and 3.23%, respectively.

Thursday’s disappointing retail sales report spurred investor fears that consumer spending is slowing amid rising inflation, a sign that the economy is weakening.

With these latest declines, the indexes are poised to notch a second consecutive week of losses. The S&P 500 is off 1% for the week and 4.5% for the month of December as hopes for a year-end rally fizzle.

Trading could be especially volatile Friday with a large amount of options set to expire. There are $2.6 trillion worth of index options set to expire, the highest amount “relative to the size of the equity market  in nearly two years,” according to Goldman Sachs.

Stocks have been falling this week in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s 50 basis point interest rate hike on Wednesday — the highest rate in 15 years. The central bank said it would continue hiking rates through 2023 to 5.1%, a larger figure than previously expected.

“After gouging themselves on hopes for a Fed pivot, equity traders are experiencing indigestion from [Wednesday’s] FOMC statement, which reiterated Jerome Powell’s theme of ‘higher for longer,'” said John Lynch, chief investment officer for Comerica Wealth Management.

They will also look for any hints on future Fed policy from speakers John Williams, Michelle Bowman and Mary Daly. Investors are trying to gauge the pace of future rate hikes and the central bank’s view of the economy.

There also will be data coming in the morning with December’s purchasing managers’ indexes within services and manufacturing.

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