US stocks change course to end lower, mired by rating downgrade

US stocks change course to end lower, mired by rating downgrade

S&P, Nasdaq post worst weekly performance since March, Dow sees 1st weekly loss in 3 weeks

By Ovunc Kutlu

ISTANBUL (AA) — US stock exchanges closed lower on Friday, changing course from a higher opening in a week mired by a rating downgrade.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones rose 120 points, or 0.34%, to 35,339. However, the blue-chip index lost 150 points, or 0.43%, to close the day at 35,065.

The S&P 500 was up 26 points, or 0.6%, to 4,528, but the index fell 23 points, or 0.53%, to finish the session at 4,478.

Both the Dow and S&P posted their first weekly loss in three weeks after Fitch Ratings on Tuesday downgraded the US' long-term foreign-currency credit rating to "AA+" from "AAA" with a stable outlook, rattling markets.

The Nasdaq increased 139 points, or 1%, to 14,098 shortly after the opening bell on Friday. But the tech-heavy index shed 50 points, or 0.36%, to end the day at 13,909.

The S&P and Nasdaq both had their worst weekly performance since March, plummeting 2.3% and 2.8% this week, respectively.

The exchanges kicked Friday off with gains after nonfarm payrolls for July signaled that the job market is cooling down. The US economy added 187,000 jobs in July, lower than market estimates of 200,000, the Labor Department announced earlier.

The softening figure indicated a cooling job market in the world's biggest economy, as the Federal Reserve tries to tame wages in its fight against high inflation.

The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, jumped 8.4% to 17.26. The 10-year US Treasury yield, meanwhile, fell 3.5% to 4.045%.

The dollar index fell 0.5% to 102.05, while the euro rose 0.5% to $1.1005 against the greenback.

Precious metals were in positive territory, with gold rising 0.4% to $1,942 per ounce and silver increasing 0.2% to $23.62.

Oil prices soared around 1.2%, with global benchmark Brent crude at $86.01 per barrel and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate at $82.64.

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