Dow Opens Lower, on Track for Worst Week Since January

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U.S. stocks retreated Friday, putting the Dow on track for its worst weekly performance since the end of January.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2% to start the trading day. The index of blue-chip stocks had dropped 1.9% this week through Thursday, leaving it poised for its worst showing since it retreated almost 3.3% in the last week of January.

The S&P 500 declined 0.8% early Friday. The benchmark index is on track to end a three-week streak of gains. The Nasdaq Composite Index ticked 0.6% lower, as large technology stocks also fell at the opening bell.

Sentiment waned on Friday after Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis leader James Bullard said on CNBC that he expects the first rate increase in late 2022. The Fed has faced more inflation than it expected, and policy makers need to be nimble, he added. But it will take several Fed meetings to organize the debate over tapering its bond-purchase program, he said.

The Cboe Volatility Index, known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” climbed to its highest level since late May.

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