U.S. Stocks Tumble on Global Worries; Financial Stocks Skid 


Stocks plunged across all sectors in the heaviest trading of the year Friday as enthusiasm over a long-awaited increase in U.S. interest rates faded.

Several other negative factors combined to give the market its second big loss in a row, bringing the indexes lower for the week.

Bank stocks, which investors had bid up in hopes they would become more profitable as loan rates climbed, fell the most. Technology shares suffered more declines as a bad December got worse for Apple. The world’s most valuable publicly traded company sank again, bringing its monthly loss to 10 percent.

Overseas, Japan’s market sank after that country’s central bank made changes to a stimulus program that fell short of what investors were hoping for. Another drop in energy prices sent oil stocks lower again.

The& Dow& Jones industrial average dropped 367.29 points, or 2.1 percent, to 17,128.55. The S&P 500 index fell 36.34 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,005.55. The Nasdaq composite sank 79.47 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,923.08. All 10 Standard & Poor’s 500 sectors fell.

U.S. stock trading was even more volatile than usual Friday because of the simultaneous expiration of several kinds of futures and other contracts that investors use to place bets on indexes and individual stocks. As a result Friday was the busiest trading day of the year for stocks.

Goldman Sachs dropped $7.12, or 3.9 percent, to $175.49 and ETrade Financial lost $1.13, or 3.8 percent, to $28.82. Citigroup gave up $1.63, or 3.1 percent, to $51.21.

Tech stocks also slumped. Apple fell $2.95, or 2.7 percent, to $106.03. The stock has fallen 10 percent in December and has risen only three days this month. Microsoft fell $1.57, or 2.8 percent, to $54.13.

Transportation stocks also fell. Shares of J.B. Hunt Transportation surrendered $1.96, or 2.7 percent, to $70.62 and Ryder System lost $2.59, or 4.6 percent, to $54.08.

Used car dealership chain CarMax disclosed disappointing quarterly results, as its profit and sales both fell short of analyst projections. Its stock lost $3.66, or 6.4 percent, to $53.49.

U.S. crude fell 22 cents to $34.73 a barrel in New York. Oil is trading at its lowest level in almost seven years and has slumped over the last two days. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, slipped 18 cents to $36.88 a barrel in London. Natural gas, which has sunk to 16-year lows as demand fell, picked up 1.2 cents to $1.767 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Offshore oil drilling companies skidded. Transocean gave up 74 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $12.26 while Ensco lost $1.08, or 7 percent, to $14.31 and Diamond Offshore Drilling dipped 70 cents, or 3.3 percent, to$20.47.

Wholesale gasoline rose 1.3 cents to $1.275 a gallon and heating oil inched up to $1.107 a gallon.

Metals prices also rose Friday. The price of gold edged up $15.40, or 1.5 percent, to $1,065 per ounce and silver added 39.3 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $14.096 an ounce. Copper rose 6.9 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $2.113 a pound.

U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.21 percent from 2.23 percent. The euro rose to $1.0863 from $1.0805. The dollar dipped to 121.25 yen from 122.85 yen. The dollar had climbed Thursday and is expected to gain strength as the Fed raises interest rates while central banks in Europe and Japan reduce interest rates.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!

Hamodia Logo