Stocks finished firmly lower Friday. The Dow fell 460 points to 25,502. The S&P 500 suffered its worst session since January, losing 54 points to close at 2,800. The Nasdaq Composite slid 196 points to 7,642.
U.S. equities declined amid renewed concerns of slowing global growth as disappointing manufacturing data from the Eurozone weighed on sentiment. Preliminary activity readings from research firm Markit also provided a headwind as reports showed both the U.S. manufacturing and services sectors expanded at a slower than anticipated pace in March. The downbeat economic figures inspired a rally in Treasuries with the yield on the 10-year note down nine basis points to 2.44%. Also notably, the yields between the 3-month T-bill and 10-year Treasury note inverted for the first time since 2007. A separate update showed the U.S. monthly budget notched the largest deficit on record in February.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in negative territory with the Materials group leading the declines. Shares of Bank of America lost 4.2% to $27.00, to contribute to the Financials sector underperformance amid falling interest rates. In earnings news, Nike slumped 6.6% to $82.19 after the athletic apparel maker topped profit estimates but offered disappointing forward guidance
Breadth was negative on issues by 10:1 on the NYSE and by 6:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 4.2 billion shares.
In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude lost 1.8% to $58.90/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.4% to $1,312.30/ounce despite a stronger dollar. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 0.8%, while the Dow fell 1.3%. The Nasdaq notched a 0.6% decline.