Finance

Stocks slide, extending losing streak that has seen markets drop 10 percent from high

Stocks slid as the market opened Monday, sending the S&P 500 index into a correction after weeks of losses.

The S&P was down 2.3 percent roughly an hour after the market opened Monday and down 10 percent from its all-time high. A stock or index is considered to be in a correction after falling 10 percent from its 52-week peak.

The Nasdaq composite, which fell into a correction last week, was down 2.7 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a loss of roughly 1.8 percent.

After tearing through record highs last year, stocks have fallen steadily through 2022 as COVID-19 cases surge, high inflation lingers and the Federal Reserve prepares to pull back on stimulus. 

The omicron-driven spike in coronavirus cases has slowed the pace of the recovery and kept millions of Americans out of work to take care of themselves or sick loved ones. The surge has dampened consumer confidence and activity, forced school and day care closures and squeezed business owners already struggling to hire and retain workers.

The prospect of higher interest rates has also sucked momentum from stocks, as higher borrowing costs can narrow business profit margins and slow investment activity.

The Federal Open Market Committee — the Fed’s monetary policy arm — will meet this week and likely shed more light into its plans to steer the economy away from high inflation. It is not expected to hike interest rates this week but could hint toward a March increase following the Wednesday conclusion of its January meeting.

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