US stocks down at open as Fed rate hike fear persists

By Ovunc Kutlu

ANKARA (AA) – Major indexes in the US stock market opened lower Friday as investors' fears amid the Federal Reserve signaling two rate hikes in 2023 persist.

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 358 points, or 1%, to 33,465 at 9.50 a.m. EDT (1350GMT). The blue-chip index was heading for its worst weekly decline since January.

The S&P 500 fell 35 points, or 0.8%, to 4,186 and the Nasdaq declined 77 points, or 0.5% to 14,083.

Precious metals showed little recovery from their losses in the last two days. Gold showed a small gain to $1,774 per ounce and silver was up 0.4% to $26.02 at the time.

After the Fed signaled it could raise its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% twice in 2023 against rising inflation, investors flocked to the dollar, which continued its increase for the third consecutive day.

The dollar index was up 0.4% to 92.26 shortly after markets opened. The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, soared 13% to climb above the psychological threshold of 20.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury, on the other hand, was down 0.7% to 1.501%.