Wall St. declines with energy, ends five-week string of gains
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Friday as energy shares extended their recent slide, while rising bond yields drove down high-dividend paying shares.
Major indexes finished lower after five straight weeks of gains.
The S&P energy index (.SPNY) fell 1.5 percent and was among the day’s worst-performing sectors as U.S. oil prices shed 0.6 percent.
The energy group was down 3.7 percent for the week. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) retreated 1.3 percent on the day, while ConocoPhillips (COP.N) fell 1.2 percent.
The S&P utilities sector (.SPLRCU) dropped 1.8 percent while telecommunications (.SPLRCL) fell 1.2 percent as benchmark U.S. bond yields posted their biggest weekly increase in over a year.
Solid U.S. retail sales and consumer sentiment data on Friday added to concerns the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than some investors had expected. “What’s been creeping into investors’ minds is the inevitability of the Fed raising rates and whether they’re going to do it sooner rather than later,” said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist, Delta Global Asset Management in Boston.
The Fed will hold a two-day policy meeting next week. At its conclusion, some investors and economists expect the central bank may tweak the wording of its policy statement to take on a more hawkish tone.
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) fell 61.49 points, or 0.36 percent, to 16,987.51, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 11.91 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,985.54 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 24.21 points, or 0.53 percent, to 4,567.60.
For the week, the Dow was down 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 was down 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.3 percent.
The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was Noranda Aluminum Holding (NOR.N), which rose 32.78 percent, while the top percentage decliner was Hyperdynamics (HDY.N), down 9.32 percent.
Among the most active stocks on the NYSE were Sprint (S.N), up 6.54 percent to $7.00, and U.S.-listed shares of Petrobras (PBR.N), down 7.09 percent to $16.38.
On the Nasdaq, Yahoo (YHOO.O), up 3.9 percent to $42.88; Apple (AAPL.O), up 0.2 percent to $101.66; and eBay (EBAY.O), up 3.0 percent to $52.19, were among the most actively traded.
EBay pared earlier gains of as much as 4.7 percent after the company dismissed market speculation that Google Inc (GOOGL.O) (GOOG.O) may be preparing to buy a slice of the company.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,460 to 630, for a 3.90-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,818 issues fell and 872 advanced for a 2.08-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The broad S&P 500 index posted 16 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 59 new highs and 36 new lows.
About 6.0 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, above the 5.5 billion average for the last five sessions, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)