Stocks declined Friday, capping their worst week of 2019, as investors weighed renewed trade tensions. The Dow slipped 98 points, posting a 2.6% loss for the week. The S&P 500 fell for a fifth straight day, shedding 0.7% and bringing its weekly decline to 3.1%. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.3%, slumping 3.9% on the week.
A perceived “risk-off” tone took hold of equity markets after President Trump announced on Thursday that the U.S. would impose a new 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods. Treasuries rallied across the curve, sending yields lower. The 10-year note yield fell four basis points to 1.85%, which followed Thursday’s 12 basis point decline. Market participants also assessed the most recent jobs report. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 164,000 in July, in-line with expectations. However, the prior two month’s readings were downwardly revised. Separate updates revealed factory and durable goods orders both grew at a slower rate in July than the previous month. A different survey showed the U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in June.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished lower, with just the defensive groups closing in positive territory. Technology shares paced the declines, with the oft-cited FAANG group falling 1.6%. Energy stocks also lagged with Exxon Mobil down 1.0% despite the oil giant topping analyst profit estimates.
In commodities, WTI crude rebounded 3.2% to $55.66/barrel from Thursday’s largest one day decline in four years, but shed 1.6% for the week. COMEX gold added 1.4% to $1,440.80/ounce amid a rally in perceived “safe-haven” assets.