Stocks finished firmly lower Friday. The Dow fell 496 points to 24,100, its lowest level since May, while the S&P 500 slipped 50 points to 2,599. The Nasdaq retreated 105 points 6,964.
The major averages suffered a sharp decline as fears of a slowdown in global economic growth overcame generally positive domestic economic updates. Investors took a perceived “risk-off” tone after a series of disappointing economic updates out of China and the European Union. On the U.S. data front, retail sales climbed 0.2% in November, besting expectations of a 0.1% increase. Industrial production increased 0.6% in November, topping projections of a 0.3% gain.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors finished lower with Health Care shares the notable decliner. Shares of Johnson & Johnson tumbled 10.0% to $133.00 and erased roughly $45 billion in market-cap following news the company was aware its baby powder contained trace amounts of asbestos. Tech stocks were also broadly lower as Apple fell 3.2% to $165.48 and Microsoft lost 3.1% to $106.03. In earnings news, Costco slipped 8.6% to $207.06 after the company missed same store sales figures and profit estimates.
Breadth was negative on issues by roughly 4:1 on the NYSE and 3:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume totaled more than 3.8 billion shares.
Treasuries strengthened along the curve as the yield on the 10-year fell two basis points to 2.89%. In commodities, WTI crude declined 2.9% to $51.08/barrel. COMEX gold was off 0.5% to $1,237.00/ounce amid a stronger dollar.
For the week, the Dow slipped 1.2% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined 1.3% and 0.8% respectively.