September was a terrible month for stocks. The Dow Jones fell nearly 9%, its worst monthly decline since March 2020, when pandemic lockdowns began in the United States. The index also ended deep in the red on Friday.
The Dow, a widely watched barometer of the US stock market that includes giants such as Apple (AAPL), Coca-Cola (KO), Disney (DIS), Microsoft (MSFT) and Walmart (WMT), fell about 500 points, or 1.7%. All 30 Dow stocks ended the day lower.
Worries over rising inventory levels at the Dow Nike (NKE) component pushed the blue chips lower on Friday. Shares of Nike (NKE) fell 13% as investors fretted over the need to cut sneakers and other sportswear significantly.
The Dow fell more than 5% in the third quarter and is now down about 20% this year, putting it in a bear market. The Dow is trading near its lowest levels since November 2020.
The S&P 500, which fell 1.5% on Friday, fell nearly 9% in September and fell nearly 24% in 2022. That puts the index on track for its worst annual decline since 2008. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also fell 1.5%. Friday and it has plunged almost 10% this month. It is down more than 30% this year.
Some market experts are hoping the worst may soon be over for stocks, given the sharpness of the selloff. But investors remain nervous about the economy and earnings.
Inflation led the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates dramatically. This could potentially slow consumer and business spending. Worries about a recession are growing.
The CNN Business Fear & Greed Index, which measures seven Wall Street sentiment indicators, shows levels of extreme fear. And there has been no safe haven for investors to ride out the market storm. Bonds, gold and bitcoin also plunged in 2022.