U.S. Stocks Close Out Half-Day Session With Broad Losses


Stocks fell broadly on Wall Street Friday following a shortened trading session a day after the Thanksgiving holiday that left the market slightly below its record highs.

Technology, health care and industrial stocks accounted for a big slice of the selling. Several big retailers also dragged the market lower as traders watched for signs that Black Friday got off to a strong start. Energy stocks took the heaviest losses as crude oil prices fell sharply. Bond yields rose.

Even with the pullback, the S&P 500 notched its seventh weekly gain in eight weeks. The benchmark index also closed out November with its strongest monthly gain since June.

The S&P 500 index dropped 12.65 points, or 0.4%, to 3,140.98. The index hit all-time highs the first three days of the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 112.59 points, or 0.4%, to 28,051.41. The Nasdaq slid 39.70 points, or 0.5%, to 8,665.47. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 9.60 points, or 0.6%, or 1,624.50. Trading volume was lighter than usual with the markets open for only a half day.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.77% from 1.76% late Wednesday.

The three major stock indexes have notched multiple record highs in recent weeks. That helped drive their gains in November. The S&P 500 ended the month with a 3.4% gain, while the Dow rose 3.7%. The Nasdaq, which is weighted heavily with technology stocks, gained 4.5%.

Better-than-expected corporate earnings, solid economic data and interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve helped fuel the market’s fall rally. Investors have also grown more optimistic about the prospects for a trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Energy stocks were the biggest losers as the price of U.S. crude oil slid 5.1%. Devon Energy dropped 2.8% and Helmerich & Payne fell 2.3%.

Benchmark crude oil fell $2.94 to settle at $55.17 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, dropped $1.44 to close at $62.43 a barrel.

Shares in several big retailers declined as Black Friday, traditionally the kickoff for the year-end shopping season, got underway. Macy’s fell 1%, Gap dropped 1.8%, Kohl’s slid 2.7% and Nordstrom slipped 0.4%.

Some bucked the downward trend. J.C. Penney rose 1.8%, Walmart added 0.3% and TJX, parent of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other stores, gained 0.3%.

This year retailers have less time to woo consumers because Thanksgiving fell on the fourth Thursday in November, making the shopping season six days shorter.

Traders bid up shares in Tech Data after Apollo Global Management raised its offer to buy the technology company to $145 per share in cash from $130. The stock surged 12.3%.

U.S. Steel fell 5.8% following reports that a water pipe burst at the company’s steel mill in Gary, Indiana.

In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline fell 8 cents to $1.60 per gallon. Heating oil declined 7 cents to $1.88 per gallon. Natural gas dropped 22 cents to $2.28 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $11.90 to $1,472.70 per ounce, silver gained 5 cents to $17.11 per ounce and copper fell 3 cents to $2.66 per pound.

The dollar fell to 109.48 Japanese yen from 109.53 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1017 from $1.1009.

Major stock indexes in Europe ended broadly lower.