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Dow falls 170 points on the last trading day of January, S&P 500 is set for its worst month since March 2020

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Stocks were mixed Monday as traders wrapped up what has been a whirlwind of a month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 173 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 fell slightly and is currently on pace for its worst month since October 2020. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%.

Tech names helped lift the Nasdaq on Monday. Netflix and Spotify each added 4% and 5%, respectively, following an upgrade from Citi. Spotify also took steps over the weekend to address the controversy surrounding its Joe Rogan podcast.

Tesla shares gained more than 3% following an upgrade of the stock to outperform by Credit Suisse. Other EV makers rose too, with Rivian and Lucid adding about 2%. Lordstown Motors jumped 11%.

On the down side, a 3% decline in Caterpillar shares weighed on the Dow after Credit Suisse cut its price target on the stock. Walgreens fell more than 1% after it kicked off the sales process for its Boots unit. Travelers Companies lost more than 1% too.

January has still been a dismal month for stocks. The S&P 500 is headed for its worst month since the pandemic-spurred market turmoil in March 2020 as investors worry about inflation, supply chain issues and the upcoming rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

The 500-stock average is nearing correction territory, down more than 8% from its intraday high earlier this month. The S&P 500 is down 7% in January.

The Nasdaq Composite, which is roughly 15% off its November record close, is headed for its worst month since October 2008 and the worst first month of the year of all time. The technology-focused average is down 11% in January.

The Dow, off by about 4% this month, is heading for its worst month since October 2020 and the small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 is in a bear market.

The major averages experienced violent swings last week, with the Dow moving a gut-wrenching 1,000 points in both directions. The Dow ended the week 1.3% higher. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% last week and the Nasdaq was about flat for the week.

“This all kind of results in additional market volatility until investors digest this transition period,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. “On the other side of this, the economy should continue to expand, earnings are pretty good. That’s enough to sustain markets, but I think they’re adjusting to the shift in monetary policy, fiscal policy and earnings.”

Source: CNBC

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