U.S. stocks closed out a volatile week with sharp losses Friday, as oil hit near-seven-year lows and news of another corporate merger weighed ahead of the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated decision on rates next week.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 309.54 points, or 1.8%, to close out the week at 17,265.21. DuPont and Goldman Sachs were the greatest weights on the index as nearly all member stocks declined.
The S&P 500 stumbled 41.44 points, or 2%, to 2,010.79, as energy lost more than 3% to lead all sectors lower.
The NASDAQ index deducted 111.71 points, or 2.2%, to 4,933.47, as Apple traded more than 2.5% lower.
U.S. chemical giants DuPont and Dow Chemical officially agreed to merge in an all-stock deal to form a combined company valued at $130 billion U.S. The new firm, to be called DowDuPont, is expected to eventually separate into three entities.
Despite declines of about 5% Friday, DuPont is still up about 4% for the week so far. Dow Chemical traded more than 2% lower Friday, on track for slight gains for the week.
BlackRock traded more than 6% lower, while Legg Mason and Charles Schwab were off more than 4.5% in afternoon trade.
In economic news, October U.S. business inventories were unchanged, while September’s figure was revised to 0.1% from 0.3%
The preliminary read on December U.S. Michigan Consumer Sentiment was 91.8.
November retail sales rose 0.2%. Ex-autos, retail sales rose 0.4%.
The U.S. Labor Department said on Friday its producer price index advanced 0.3% after falling 0.4% in October.
Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained sharply, lowering yields to 2.14% from Thursday’s 2.23%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices slid $1.22 a barrel to $35.54 U.S.
Gold prices gained $5.16 to $1,076.74 U.S. an ounce.
Source: WallSt Money US Market Commentary (December 11, 2015 – 5:53 PM EST)
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