U.S. equities finished firmly lower Friday as investors continued to monitor the latest economic updates and corporate earnings reports. The Dow lost 255 points, ending the week 0.2% lower. The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, but posted a 0.5% weekly advance. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.8%, paring its weekly gain to 0.4%.
Economic data was in focus today after an update out of China overnight revealed its third-quarter GDP growth rate had eased to the slowest pace since the early 1990’s. The reading surprised many analysts and has sparked renewed concerns about a potential slowdown in global economic growth. On the domestic data front, a survey showed the leading indicators index unexpectedly declined 0.1% month-over-month in September. Investors also monitored ongoing monetary policy commentary, with three separate Federal Reserve officials giving the central bank’s last public remarks before the Oct 29-30 FOMC meeting. Treasuries strengthened with the yield on the 10-year note down one basis point to 1.75%.
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory. The Technology group led the laggards amid a decline in chipmakers. The Industrials group also underperformed with Boeing falling 6.5% after the Federal Aviation Administration said the jet maker withheld “concerning” employee messages from 2016 about the flight-control system at the center of the 737 Max groundings. The Communication Services group slumped as Netflix lost 5.9%. Corporate earnings reports offered a bright spot, with 80% of S&P 500 constituents who have reported earnings as of this morning having topped consensus estimates, according to FactSet. Coca-Cola advanced 2.1% after topping analyst revenue projections.