NEW YORK (AFP) – The Dow fell for a fifth straight session on Friday (June 18) as markets continued to digest the latest pivot in Federal Reserve messaging towards more restrictive monetary policy.

Equities were broadly lower, but energy and financials were again the biggest losers, extending a period of weakness in industries that had outperformed earlier in the year when US policymakers were doubling down on stimulus measures.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 1.6 per cent at 33,290.08, taking its loss for the week to 3.4 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 1.3 per cent to 4,166.45, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.9 per cent to 14,030.38.

Expectations of Fed tightening grew following comments on CNBC from St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard predicting a first interest rate hike in late 2022 and saying it makes sense for the central bank to become “a little more hawkish” in light of recent inflation data.

Some analysts now expect the Fed to announce a plan to trim asset purchases at an August gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“The market seemed to be somewhat reassured by the Fed simultaneously raising its inflation forecast for the year but also sticking with its message that a spike in prices is only transitory,” said TD Ameritrade’s JJ Kinahan.

“Despite everything going on in the market, there hasn’t been a general sense of disorder.”

Dow drops over 500 points on Bullard comments