Wall Street ends lower as investors digest economic data

By Ankika Biswas and Noel Randewich

(Reuters) – Wall Street ended lower on Friday as investors assessed economic data and awaited a potential 50-basis point interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve at its policy meeting next week, while apparel company Lululemon slumped following a disappointing profit forecast.

U.S. producer prices rose slightly more than expected in November amid a jump in the costs of services, but the trend is moderating, with annual inflation at the factory gate posting its smallest increase in 1-1/2 years, data showed.

“Today’s data shows that inflation is coming down, but it’s lingering and is stickier than most assume,” said Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial (NYSE:AMP) in Troy, Michigan.However, in December, consumer sentiment improved, while inflation expectations eased to a 15-month low, a University of Michigan survey showed.

Futures trades suggest a 77% chance the Fed will raise interest rates by 50 basis points next week, with a 23% chance of a 75-basis point hike, with those odds little changed after Friday’s economic data.

Consumer prices data for November, due Tuesday, will provide fresh clues on the central bank’s monetary tightening plans.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) Inc tumbled almost 13% after the Canadian athletic apparel maker forecast lower-than-expected holiday-quarter revenue and profit.

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 3.1% after Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) upgraded the video streaming giant to “overweight” from “equal weight”.

The S&P 500 declined 0.73% to end the session at 3,934.38 points.

The Nasdaq declined 0.70% to 11,004.62 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.90% to 33,476.46 points.

Of the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, 10 declined, led lower by energy, down 2.33%, followed by a 1.28% loss in health care.

The energy index recorded a seventh straight session of losses, its longest losing streak since December 2018, as oil prices looked set for weekly losses on recession concerns. [O/R]

Wall Street’s main indexes have fallen this week after logging two straight weekly gains. Weighing heavily on investors are fears of a potential recession next year due to extended the central bank’s rate hikes.

For the week, the S&P 500 dropped 3.4%, the Dow lost 2.8% and the Nasdaq shed 4%.

U.S. stocks ended a recent run of losses on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims rose modestly last week.

Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) Inc jumped 2.6% after the chipmaker forecast current-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co climbed 0.3% after Reuters report the plane maker plans to announce a deal with United Airlines for orders of 787 Dreamliner next week.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones within the S&P 500 by a 3.3-to-one ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 5 new highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and 213 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was relatively light, with 9.9 billion shares traded, compared to an average of 10.9 billion shares over the previous 20 sessions.