US stocks off to worst start in over 50 years

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The S&P 500 ended first half of 2022 lower by 20.6%

US stock futures continued to decline Friday morning after the worst start to a year in decades. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.7% in pre-market trading, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 are sliding 0.67% and 0.59% respectively.

Stock extended losses from Thursday’s session, with the Dow down 15.3% so far this year marking its worst first-half performance since 1962. The S&P 500 index ended the first half of 2022 lower by 20.6% for its worst start to a year since 1970. The Nasdaq’s 29.5% drop so far in 2022 marked its worst first half on record.

The steep first-half losses come as investors are grappling with the risks of an economic downturn and tighter monetary policy, as the US Federal Reserve responds to inflation with aggressive interest-rate hikes. The Fed hiked the key interest rate by 0.75 of a percentage point in June, marking the biggest rate increase since 1994.

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