Stocks decline to end a strong week
A rally that pushed a key index to a record high petered out on Friday.
Despite the losses, the market still ended with its best week in nearly two months after getting a boost from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Policymakers signaled that they were in no hurry to raise interest rates from historically low levels.
“Many sectors and stocks have had a good few days, so some of it is [down to] people taking off some of their profits,” JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief strategist, said about Friday’s trading.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 11.48 points, or 0.5%, to 2,109.76. The index was up 0.8% for the week, its best gain since the week ended April 24.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 99.89 points, or 0.6%, to 18,015.95.
The Nasdaq composite slid 15.95 points, or 0.3%, closing at 5,117. That’s just below its record high of 5,132.95 set Thursday.
An impasse in bailout negotiations between Greece and its creditors and worries about a stock bubble in China weighed on the market. Utilities and financial stocks were among the biggest decliners. The price of oil fell, ending the week nearly flat.
A series of disappointing sales forecasts also hurt stocks. Hershey fell 3.5% after the chocolate and candy maker cut its revenue outlook for the year because of weak demand in China. The company also said it plans to cut about 300 jobs by the end of the year. The stock lost $3.22 to $89.04.
CarMax fell 3.7% after the used car dealership chain reported fiscal first-quarter sales that fell short of forecasts. The stock shed $2.69 to $69.27.
Investors welcomed news that activist investor firm Jana partners has taken a 7.2% stake in ConAgra Foods. Jana said ConAgra’s results have been disappointing since it bought Ralcorp, the owner of Post cereals, in January 2013, and asked the packaged food company to extend the deadline for nominating board candidates. ConAgra rose $4.25, or 10.9%, to $43.37.
The dollar fell to 122.61 yen from 123.04 yen on Thursday. The euro fell against the dollar to $1.1357 from $1.1371.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 84 cents to close at $59.61 a barrel in New York. Oil finished last week at $59.96. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.24 to close at $63.02 in London.
U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which drops when prices rise, fell to 2.26% from 2.32% late Thursday.