US stocks end mixed to close out worst month of 2023 as investors brace for a government shutdown

US stocks end mixed to close out worst month of 2023 as investors brace for a government shutdown
  • US stocks traded mixed on Friday as a government shutdown looked increasingly likely.

  • The session also closed out a dismal September, with the S&P 500 losing 5% to mark its worst month of 2023.

  • For the third quarter, the benchmark index lost about 4%.

US stocks traded mixed on Friday as investors initially cheered better-than-expected inflation news but grew jittery as a government shutdown appeared more likely.

The core personal consumption expenditure price index, which is the Fed's preferred measure of inflation, rose 0.1% in the month of August, less than the expected 0.2% monthly increase.

September marked the second straight losing month for stocks. The S&P 500 slid around 5% to mark its worst month of 2023, while the Dow lost about 4%, and the Nasdaq sank 6%. For the third quarter, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down about 4%, and the Dow 3%.

"It may be an understatement to say it has been a rough month for stocks," LPL Financial chief technical strategist Adam Turnquist said in a statement on Friday. "However, in terms of performance, nothing really qualifies out of the ordinary. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has historically declined in September 55% of the time, posting an average loss of around 3.8%. The VIX historically peaks on the year around week 40, suggesting next week could be a top for implied volatility."

Here's where US indexes stood shortly at the 4:00 p.m. closing bell on Friday: 

Here's what else happened today: 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 1.05% to $90.75 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, dropped 3.51% to $92.05 a barrel.

  • Gold fell 0.89% to $1,848.29 per ounce.

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond slipped three basis points to 4.567%.

  • Bitcoin dipped 0.24% to $26,916.

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