U.S. stocks are skidding Friday and returning more of their gains from earlier in the week. Energy companies are dropping as oil prices recede from their recent highs, and banks are falling again as bond yields continue to plunge. Stocks in Europe and Asia also sank.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 83 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,901 as of 11:28 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,101. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 44 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,914. Losses Thursday and Friday have wiped out much of the market gains from earlier in the week. Investors remain cautious as they look to a Federal Reserve meeting next week and Britain’s referendum on its membership in the European Union on June 23.
ENERGY: U.S. crude shed 90 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $49.66 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, fell $1, or 1.9 percent, to $50.95 a barrel in London. Gasoline, heating oil and natural-gas prices also sank.
ConocoPhillips gave up $1.12, or 2.4 percent, to $45.45, and oil-field services company Schlumberger shed 81 cents, or 1 percent, to $79.15.
BANKS STUMBLE: As they did Thursday, banks fell along with bond yields. Lower bond yields drive down interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans, and that makes them less profitable for banks. Citigroup sank $1.10, or 2.4 percent, to $43.91, and JPMorgan Chase lost 87 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $63.88. Bank of America fell 29 cents, or 1 percent, to $13.90.
Bond prices rose further, and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note sank to 1.64 percent from 1.69 percent.
The drop in bond yields sent phone companies higher, as those stocks’ high dividend yields are comparable to bonds. Verizon Communications rose 78 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $52.73.
DRUG PRICE DOUBTS: Drug company stocks fell further. Mylan lost $1.75, or 3.8 percent, to $44.01 after Wells Fargo analyst David Maris said it might come under scrutiny from regulators because it’s made some “exceptionally large price increases” on its drugs this year. Maris added that the price changes might also indicate that some of Mylan’s other products aren’t selling as well as it hoped.
A number of drug companies have seen their stocks tumble in recent months as regulators questioned their patterns of raising prices and other business practices. Endo International, which has plunged more than 70 percent this year, fell $1.16, or 6.5 percent, to $16.84.
OUCH-FITTERS: Retailer Urban Outfitters slumped after it said sales at established stores are continuing to fall in the second quarter so far. Those sales are considered an important measurement of retailer performance. The company’s stock slid $1.61, or 5.8 percent, to $26.32.
BLOOD TEST: Global Blood Therapeutics climbed after it reported positive results from an early clinical study of its most advanced drug, a potential treatment for sickle cell disease. The company’s stock gained $4.30, or 19.4 percent, to $26.45.
CHEMICAL DEAL: Ethylene producer Westlake Chemical Corp. said it will buy chemical maker Axiall for $33 per share, or $2.33 billion. That’s a 28-percent premium to the price of Axiall shares Thursday. Axiall jumped $6.68, or 25.9 percent, to $32.49, and Westlake rose $1.07, or 2.4 percent, to $46.14.
BLOCK BOUNCES: Tax preparer H&R Block posted a bigger profit and more revenue than analysts had expected, sending its stock up $2.15, or 10 percent, to $23.69.
TOSSING AND TURNING: Mattress Firm, the bedding maker behind Serta, Sealy and other brands, reported a bigger loss and less revenue than expected and cut its estimates for the year. Its stock dropped $4.82, or 14.4 percent, to $28.76.
OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 fell 2.5 percent and Germany’s DAX slumped 2.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 1.5 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.2 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 106.93 yen from 106.83 yen late Thursday. The euro fell to $1.1299 from $1.1331.