Stocks skid as tech firms fall and oil plunge continues, but it’s still an up week

The New York Stock Exchange.
(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

U.S. stocks fell Friday as a combination of weak economic data from China and disappointing earnings hurt technology and internet companies. Crude oil prices fell for the 10th day in a row.

Auto sales in China fell in October for the fourth consecutive month and are down 13% year-over-year, the latest sign its economy is under pressure. Concerns about China’s economy and its trade dispute with the United States contributed to the global stock market skid in October. The stocks that fared the worst during that time included tech and internet companies and retailers, which all took sharp losses Friday.

“China has played such a critical role in driving global growth,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist for Invesco. Investors “are having concerns that these tariff wars are essentially going to kick China when it’s down.”

U.S. crude oil slipped 0.8% to extend its losing streak. It has fallen five weeks in a row and tumbled 21% since Oct. 3. Energy companies’ stocks have suffered steep losses during that time.


Weak forecasts from firms including video game company Activision Blizzard and chipmaker Skyworks Solutions also contributed to Friday’s decline.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 25.82 points, or 0.9%, to 2,781.01. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 201.92 points, or 0.8%, to 25,989.30.

The Nasdaq composite slid 123.98 points, or 1.6%, to 7,406.90. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 28.72 points, or 1.8%, to 1,549.49.

The Labor Department said wholesale prices in the United States jumped, and Hooper said that could be linked to the tariff dispute as well. Wholesale prices rose by the most in six years in October as gas, food and chemical prices increased. The Labor Department’s wholesale price index has climbed 2.9% over the last year.


Video game maker Activision Blizzard tumbled 12.4% to $55.01 after its forecast for the holiday season fell short of analysts’ projections. Electronic Arts slid 5.3% to $88.89.

Major technology and internet companies faltered. Apple fell 1.9% to $204.47. Facebook fell 2% to $144.96. Amazon slid 2.4% to $1,712.43.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell to $60.19 a barrel, its lowest price in almost eight months. Brent crude, used to price international oils, has fared almost as badly as U.S. crude, and Friday it declined 0.7% to $70.20 a barrel in London.

West Coast utility companies tumbled as wildfires worsened in Southern California. PG&E dived 16.5% to $39.92. Edison International skidded 12.1% to $61.


General Electric declined 5.7% to $8.58 after a JPMorgan Chase analyst cut his price target on the stock to $6 a share from $10. Stephen Tusa said six of GE’s eight divisions might be unprofitable in 2020.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.18% from 3.23%.

Despite the losses Friday, the S&P 500 still gained 2.1% this week. It climbed 2.4% last week, and it would need to rise an additional 5.4% to reach the all-time high it set Sept. 20.

Disney rose 1.7% to $118 after posting earnings that were better than expected, bolstered by revenue from movies including “Avengers: Infinity War,” “‘Incredibles 2” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”


Online reviews company Yelp nosedived 26.6% to $31.93 after it posted weak third-quarter revenue and its forecast for the fourth quarter also fell short of Wall Street’s estimates. The company said part of the problem is an advertising model that is intended to encourage advertisers to try the site without signing a long-term contract. Yelp said that has made its results more sensitive to short-term problems.

TransCanada fell 1.7% in Toronto after a U.S. federal judge blocked a permit from the Trump administration for the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, pending an environmental review. The long-delayed $8-billion project pipeline would begin in Alberta, Canada, and run through half a dozen U.S. states to terminals on the Gulf Coast. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled that the potential impact had not been considered as required by federal law after environmentalists and Native American groups sued to stop the project, citing property rights and potential oil spills.

Natural gas prices jumped 5% to $3.72 per 1,000 cubic feet. That helped gas companies stem their losses. Heating oil was little changed at $2.17 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.4% to $1.62 a gallon.

Gold fell 0.3% to $1,208.60 an ounce. Silver fell 2% to $14.14 an ounce. Copper fell 1.9% to $2.68 a pound.


The dollar slipped to 113.76 yen from 113.99 yen. The euro fell to $1.1333 from $1.1356.


2:20 p.m.: This article was updated with closing prices and context.

This article was originally published at 10:30 a.m.