US stocks closed lower Friday, bumping the benchmark S&P 500 index into a correction, or drop of 10 per cent or more from its recent all-time high in September. Energy companies led the market slide as the price of U.S. crude oil tumbled to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting worries among traders that a slowing global economy could hurt demand for oil, agency reports.
“Oil is really falling sharply, continuing its downward descent, and that appears to be giving investors a lot of concern that there’s slowing global growth,” said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. “You have that, and then you have the recent sell-off in tech and in retail, and then throw on there trade tensions and rising rates.”
Losses in technology and internet companies and banks outweighed gains in health care and household goods stocks. Several big retailers declined as investors monitored Black Friday for signs of a strong holiday shopping season. Trading volume was lighter than usual with the markets open for only a half day after the Thanksgiving holiday. The S&P 500 index fell 17.37 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,632.56. The index is now down 10.2 per cent from its last all-time high set September 20.
The last time the index entered a correction was in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 178.74 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 24,285.95. The Nasdaq composite dropped 33.27 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6,938.98. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 0.40 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,488.68.