Stocks fall further to end a rough week

Flags fly at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

U.S. stocks slumped in the final minutes of trading Friday and ended a rough week with more losses. Bad news from sporting goods retailers weighed on the market.

On Thursday, stocks took their biggest loss in three months. On Friday, they opened lower after retailers Foot Locker and Hibbett Sports gave dour quarterly reports. The losses eased and stocks briefly turned higher after reports that President Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, left his White House post. Investors felt that makes it a bit more likely the administration can achieve at least some of its pro-business agenda.

Major stock indexes are at their lowest levels since early July as investors respond to tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, terrorist attacks in Spain and mounting challenges to Trump’s agenda of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and reduced regulation. But the market hasn’t had a severe reaction to all that news. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is only 2.2% below the record high it set this month.

“There is a tremendous amount of optimism that is supporting the market even in the face of extraordinary stress,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network. “The question is: Will politics pull that down? And the answer seems to be no, because the market has learned not to pay that much attention.”


The S&P 500 fell 4.46 points, or 0.2%, to 2,425.55. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 76.22 points, or 0.3%, to 21,674.55. The Nasdaq composite ticked down 5.39 points, or 0.1%, to 6,216.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slipped 1.15 points, or 0.1%, to 1,357.79. That index has fallen 6% since July 25.

Foot Locker plunged 27.9% to $34.38, its biggest loss in almost nine years. The athletic gear retailer said some high-priced sneakers didn’t sell as well as it hoped, and there aren’t a lot of exciting new shoes on the market. It doesn’t expect that problem to clear up soon and it now plans to close at least 135 stores, up from 100.

Hibbett Sports cut its annual forecasts, and its stock fell 5.2% to $10.90. It’s down 71% this year. Foot Locker has fallen 52%.

Companies that make athletic goods also lost ground Friday. Nike sank 4.4% to $54.95. Real estate companies that own shopping malls and other retail locations fell too. Simon Property Group declined 2.3% to $153.58.


Ross Stores, meanwhile, jumped 10.7% to $59.02. The discount store chain raised its annual forecasts after a strong second quarter.

Deere slid 5.4% to $117.31 after its quarterly sales came in lower than investors hoped. The farm equipment maker’s profit got a large boost after it sold some of its stake in SiteOne Landscape Supply, and analysts said they were disappointed with the company’s equipment sales.

Energy companies rose as benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1.42, or 3%, to $48.51 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.69, or 3.3%, to $52.72 a barrel in London.

Beauty products company Estee Lauder jumped 7.7% to $105.92 after its quarterly results beat expectations. The company also gave strong forecasts for the current fiscal year. Its competitor Ulta Beauty ticked up 1.1% to $244.20.


Concerns about the prospects for Trump’s pro-business agenda weighed on the market this week as the president and his administration were criticized for their response to last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va.

“When you see congressmen and senators, including people who’ve been close with President Trump, backing away, that means Congress is going to have a tougher road,” McMillan said.

Stock indexes in Europe fell further in the wake of the attacks in Spain. Spain’s Ibex 35 fell 0.6%. The British FTSE 100 index slid 0.9%, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.6%, and the German DAX ticked down 0.1%. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.2%, the Kospi in South Korea slipped 0.1%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 1.1%.

Bond prices finished around where they started. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stayed at 2.19%.


Early in the day, gold rose to its highest price since before the November presidential election, but it finished down 80 cents at $1,291.60 an ounce. Silver slipped 5 cents to $17 an ounce. Copper stayed at $2.94 a pound.

Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Heating oil rose 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Natural gas fell 4 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The dollar fell to 109.26 yen from 109.67 yen. The euro rose to $1.1760 from $1.1742.



2:35 p.m.: This article was updated with closing prices, context and analyst comment.

7:30 a.m.: This article was updated with market prices and context.

This article was originally published at 7 a.m.