Dow plunges 367 points

What does a rate hike mean for consumers?
What does a rate hike mean for consumers?

Forget Santa Claus rally. All Wall Street is getting these days is a lump of red ink.

The Dow plunged 367 points on Friday, its fourth-biggest decline of the year. The S&P 500 retreated 1.8% and the Nasdaq lost 1.6%.

The wave of selling came from a slew of factors, including renewed concerns about the impact of the Federal Reserve's first interest rate hike in almost a decade and the pace future increases. Even though the move represented the central bank's vote of confidence in the U.S. economy, it comes during a delicate time for the global economy amid China's slowdown.

"The Fed took its step in the context of an earnings and revenue recession and sluggish growth. That's not the best time to do it," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.

The other big cloud that's hovering over the stock market is China and the effect of its slowdown in the global economy.

markets negative

Concerns about China's economic slowdown were heightened by a new research report that showed a number of metrics deteriorated in the fourth quarter. The China Beige Book International warned China's economy, the world's second biggest, is in "dangerous" territory.

All sectors from retail to transportation have suffered, with the country's two most important industries -- manufacturing and services -- also on the decline.

After initially rallying after Wednesday's rate hike, the Dow plummeted 620 points in the final two days of the week. That's the worst back-to-back day of losses for the Dow since the late August market freakout.

Meanwhile, selling was amplified by seasonal factors in the markets, including the expiration of options.

"End-of-the-year moves get exaggerated up or down. No one wants to miss a rally -- or a selloff," said Boockvar.

Personal Finance

         

CNNMoney Sponsors