The stock market opened lower and stayed in the red all day. The selling accelerated in the last hour of trading. The biggest losses came in the energy sector and companies that make chemicals and paper goods.
The& Dow& Jones industrial average fell 208.29 points, or 1.3 percent, to 15,885.22. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 29.82 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,877.08. The Nasdaq composite index lost 72.69 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,518.49.
The price of benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.85, or 5.7 percent, to $30.34 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, lost $1.68, or 5.2 percent, to $30.50 a barrel in London. U.S. oil jumped 9 percent Friday after setting 12-year lows earlier in the week.
Exxon Mobil lost $2.59, or 3.4 percent, to $73.98 and Chevron fell $2.65, or 3.2 percent, to $80.89. Chesapeake Energy lost 56 cents, or 16 percent, to $2.95.
Paper and packaging companies fell on concerns about product prices falling. WestRock gave up $5.63, or 14.9 percent, to $32.11 and International Paper declined $3.87, or 10.6 percent, to $32.58.
Friday was the best day for the S&P 500 since early December. It was the biggest gain for the Nasdaq composite index since September. That helped stocks make their first weekly gain in the last four.
The shaky global outlook helped push companies to make a slew of big deals last year, and that trend continued as Tyco International and Johnson Controls said they will combine.
Heavy machinery maker Caterpillar sank after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to “Sell.” Analyst Jerry Revich said companies around the world are spending less money on machinery because commodity prices have dropped. Caterpillar lost $3.07, or 5 percent, to $57.91.
McDonald’s rose after the restaurant chain said its U.S. sales grew 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter, its best result in more than three years. The company said its all-day breakfast menu and the warm weather helped its sales. Overall, its sales rose 5 percent. The stock edged up 80 cents to $119.20.
Twitter continued to slide after the company said four executives, including its head of engineering, will leave the company. The stock lost 82 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $17.02. Twitter is down 57 percent in the last year.
Asian markets rose. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.9 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.4 percent. Germany’s DAX lost 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 slid 0.6 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents, of 5 percent, to $1.03 a gallon. Heating oil dropped 6 cents, or 6.1 percent, to 93.5 cents a gallon. Natural gas rose 1.9 cents to $2.158 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The price of gold rose $9 to $1,105.30 an ounce and silver gained 19.7 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $14.254 an ounce. Copper fell less than half a cent to $1.998 per pound.
U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.00 percent from 2.06 percent. The euro rose to $1.0837 from $1.0791 late Friday. The dollar fell to 118.48 yen from 118.78 yen.