Technology companies lead slide in US stocks; Oil rising - NEWS 95.7
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Technology companies lead slide in US stocks; Oil rising

U.S. stocks fell in morning trading Friday, adding to modest losses from a day earlier. Losses in technology and health care stocks outweighed gains elsewhere in the market. Energy companies led the gainers as crude oil prices rose on news that OPEC members will elect to cut production. The government said job growth in November fell short of economists’ expectations.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 20 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 2,676 as of 10:18 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrials Average dropped 183 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 24,754. The Nasdaq composite slid 77 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 7,109. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks slipped 2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 1,475.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is on track to end the week with its third loss in four weeks.

ENERGY: Oil prices rose as traders watched developments out of Vienna, where OPEC countries were meeting for a second day. Iraq’s representative there said the cartel agreed to a proposal that will see global oil production reduced by 1.2 million barrels a day.

U.S. benchmark crude jumped 4.2 per cent to $53.69 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 4.5 per cent to $62.79 a barrel in London.

The pickup in oil prices sent energy stocks higher. Anadarko Petroleum gained 4.7 per cent to $54.

TECH SLIDE: A sell-off in technology stocks weighed on the market. Hewlett Packard slumped 6.6 per cent to $14.97.

NOT SO PRETTY: Ulta Beauty slid 6.8 per cent to $273 after the cosmetics retailer’s latest quarterly report card exceeded analysts’ expectations, but its earnings outlook disappointed traders.

SMOKE THIS: Tobacco company Altria, which makes Marlboro cigarettes, rose 1.8 per cent to $55.38 after announcing a $2.4 billion investment in Cronos Group, a Canadian medical and recreational marijuana company.

SOLID QUARTER: Broadcom climbed 4.2 per cent to $236.86 after the technology company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.

JOBS REPORT: 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 per cent, nearly a five-decade low, for the third straight month. Average hourly pay rose 3.1% from a year ago, matching the previous month’s figure, which was the best since 2009. The jobs figure was less than many economists forecast, but few saw the report as a sign of a broader slowdown.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.90 per cent from 2.87 per cent on Thursday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.82 yen from 112.65 yen late Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1388 from $1.1373.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX climbed 0.9 per cent while the CAC 40 in France added 1.8 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 2.1 per cent. Major indexes in Asia finished mostly higher. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.8 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.3 per cent.

Alex Veiga, The Associated Press

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