Dow, S&P 500 now in red for the year

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - BUSINESS -

6,969.25. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of small­com­pany stocks gave up 29.32 points, or 2 per­cent, to 1,448.09.

The S&P 500 and Dow are now in the red for the year again. The Nas­daq was hold­ing on to a mod­est gain.

Volatil­ity has gripped the mar­ket since early Oc­to­ber, re­flect­ing in­vestors’ wor­ries that the Fed­eral Re­serve might over­shoot with its cam­paign of rate in­creases and hurt U.S. eco­nomic growth.

Traders also fear that a pro­longed trade dis­pute be­tween the U.S. and China could crimp cor­po­rate prof­its and that tar­iffs will raises costs for busi­nesses and con­sumers. Uncer­tainty over those is­sues helped drive the mar­ket’s sell-off this week.

“The Fed has taken the punch bowl away in get­ting back to rates where they are to­day,” said Doug Cote, chief mar­ket strate­gist for Voya In­vest­ment Man­age­ment. “We’re also go­ing to get back to more nor­mal volatil­ity.”

At the same time, traders are also wor­ried about a sharp drop in long-term bond yields as in­vestors plow money into Trea­surys, which tends to hap­pen when in­vestors ex­pect slower eco­nomic growth.

Tech­nol­ogy stocks ac­counted for much of the mar­ket’s broad slide Fri­day. Santa Clara chip­maker Ad­vanced Mi­cro De­vices slid 8.6 per­cent to $19.46.

Health care sec­tor stocks, the big­gest gainer in the S&P 500 this year, took some of the heav­i­est losses. Pleasan­ton’s Cooper Cos. lost 12.3 per­cent to $243.01.

Util­i­ties, which in­vestors fa­vor when they’re fear­ful, eked out a slight gain. PPL Corp. gained 2.8 per­cent to $31.09.

Oil prices rose after OPEC coun­tries agreed to re­duce global oil pro­duc­tion by 1.2 mil­lion bar­rels a day for six months, be­gin­ning in Jan­uary. The move would in­clude a re­duc­tion of 800,000 bar­rels per day from OPEC coun­tries and 400,000 bar­rels per day from Rus­sia and other non-OPEC na­tions.

The news, which had been widely an­tic­i­pated, pushed crude oil prices higher. U.S. bench­mark crude rose 2.2 per­cent to $52.61 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, gained 2.7 per­cent to $61.67 a bar­rel in Lon­don.

The La­bor De­part­ment said U.S. em­ploy­ers added 155,000 jobs in Novem­ber, a slow­down from re­cent months but enough to sug­gest that the econ­omy is ex­pand­ing at a solid pace de­spite sharp gy­ra­tions in the stock mar­ket. The un­em­ploy­ment rate re­mained at 3.7 per­cent, nearly a five-decade low, for the third straight month.

Bond prices rose, send­ing yields slightly lower. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury fell to 2.86 per­cent from 2.87 per­cent late Thurs­day.

The de­cline in bond yields, which af­fect in­ter­est rates on mort­gages and other con­sumer loans, weighed on banks, which make more money when rates are ris­ing. Mor­gan Stan­ley slid 3 per­cent to $41.32.

The dol­lar rose to 112.66 yen from 112.65 yen late Thurs­day. The euro strength­ened to $1.1418 from $1.1373.

Gold gained 0.7 per­cent to $1,252.60 an ounce. Sil­ver climbed 1.3 per­cent to $14.70 an ounce. Cop­per added 0.6 per­cent to $2.76 a pound.

In other com­modi­ties trad­ing, whole­sale gaso­line climbed 3.7 per­cent to $1.49 a gal­lon. Heat­ing oil rose 1.5 per­cent to $1.89 a gal­lon. Nat­u­ral gas gained 3.7 per­cent to $4.49 per 1,000 cu­bic feet.

In Europe, Ger­many’s DAX dipped 0.2 per­cent while the CAC 40 in France rose 0.7 per­cent. Bri­tain’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.1 per­cent. Ma­jor in­dexes in Asia fin­ished mostly higher.

Japan’s bench­mark Nikkei 225 added 0.8 per­cent and Aus­tralia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 per­cent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 per­cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.3 per­cent.

Pablo Martinez Mon­si­vais / As­so­ci­ated Press

Pres­i­dent Trump met with China Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping (sec­ond from left) at the G20 Sum­mit in Buenos Aires, but un­cer­tainly lingers.

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