Wall Street Slumps, S&P Hits Lowest Since August 24

Wall Street Slumps, S&P Hits Lowest Since August 24

US stocks sank in volatile trading on Friday, with the S&P 500 hitting its lowest since August 24 and the Dow dropping more than 400 points, as oil prices dived below $30 per barrel.

All 10 major S&P sectors in the red and all 30 Dow components lower. The Russell 2000 small-cap index fell as much as 3.1 per cent to its lowest since July 2013.

The beaten-down energy sector's 3.36 per cent slide led the declines, as oil prices fell 5 per cent. The technology sector was down 3.44 per cent, as Intel's weak report weighed heavily on chip stocks.

"When we started off the year, we were at the crossroads of concern and optimism and clearly, we've gone down the road of concern pretty quickly," said Dan Farley, regional investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

US economic data on Friday was also not very encouraging, with an unexpected drop in retail sales and industrial output declining again in December, underscoring a worsening outlook for fourth-quarter economic growth.

At 1708 GMT (10:38 p.m. in India), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 418.05 points, or 2.55 per cent, at 15,961. The S&P 500 was down 49.46 points, or 2.57 per cent, at 1,872.38. It fell to a low of 1,869.53.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 154.21 points, or 3.34 per cent, at 4,460.80. It hit its lowest since August 24.

The S&P 500 has fallen 12.3 per cent and the Dow 13.1 per cent from their highs in May, pushing them into what is generally considered as 'correction territory'.

The CBOE volatility index jumped as much as 29.2 per cent to 30.95 - its highest since September.

Dow components Exxon and Chevron were down 2-4 per cent, while Caterpillar dropped 4 per cent.

Intel tumbled 9 per cent to $29.66 after its results and forecast raised concerns about the chipmaker's growth. That weighed on the chip index, which fell 4.5 per cent, its steepest drop since March.

Citigroup was down 6.5 per cent at $42.44, while Wells Fargo fell 3.2 per cent to $49.04, after reporting largely in-line quarterly earnings.

Wynn Resorts was the among the very few bright spots, rising 9.1 per cent to $56.28 after reporting in-line of quarterly revenue.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,823 to 251. On the Nasdaq, 2,491 issues fell and 295 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed no new 52-week highs and 115 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 428 lows.

© Thomson Reuters 2016