NEW YORK — Wall Street capped a quiet day of trading with more losses Friday, as it closed the book on the worst year for the S&P 500 since 2008.
The benchmark index finished with a loss of 19.4% for 2022, or 18.1%, including dividends. It’s just its third annual decline since the financial crisis 14 years ago and a painful reversal for investors after the S&P 500 notched a gain of nearly 27% in 2021. All told, the index lost $8.2 trillion in value, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The Nasdaq composite, with a heavy component of technology stocks, racked up an even bigger loss of 33.1%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, posted an 8.8% loss for 2022.
Stocks struggled all year as inflation put increasing pressure on consumers and raised concerns about economies slipping into recession. Central banks raised interest rates to fight high prices. The Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes remain a major focus for investors as the central bank walks a thin line between raising rates enough to cool inflation, but not so much that they stall the U.S. economy into a recession.
The Fed’s key lending rate stood at a range of 0% to 0.25% at the beginning of 2022 and will close the year at a range of 4.25% to 4.5% after seven increases. The U.S. central bank forecasts that will reach a range of 5% to 5.25% by the end of 2023. Its forecast doesn’t call for a rate cut before 2024.
Rising interest rates prompted