STOCKS GET CRUSHED: Here's what you need to know

Stocks tanked a day after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and cited concerns about a struggling global economy and low inflation.

At its lowest level, the Dow lost more than 320 points, turning negative for the week. The S&P 500 also failed to earn a positive weekly close, with the energy sector losing the most on the day.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 16,383.22, -291.52, (-1.75%)
  • S&P 500: 1,959.03, -31.17, (-1.57%)
  • Nasdaq: 4,830.22, -63.73, (-1.30%)

And now, the top stories on Friday:

  1. Crude oil got slammed. West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York fell more than 5% to as low as $US44.25 per barrel, after starting the day near $US47. Meanwhile, gold hit a four-week high, gaining as much as $US21 an ounce, or 1.94%, to as high as $US1,141.20.
  2. Driller Baker Hughes reported that the US oil rig count fell by 8 this week, bringing the tally to 644. It’s the third straight week of declines and the lowest in this streak. The declines in September are now more than twice the gains made in August. The combined count of oil and gas rigs fell 6 to 842 this week.
  3. The Internal Revenue Service says Coca-Cola owes it $US3.3 billion. In an SEC filing on Thursday, Coke said it received a notice on Friday seeking the amount, including interest, after completing a five-year audit of tax years running from 2007 to 2009. The IRS asserts that some of Coke’s income made in foreign markets should be recognised in the US instead of overseas. The company told Business Insider in a statement that it will “pursue all administrative and judicial remedies to solve this matter.”
  4. We did not get a rate hike in September, and the odds of one in October have slumped. On Friday afternoon, fed fund futures reflected a 20% probability for a raise next month, down from 42% two days ago. Goldman Sachs’ Jan Hatzius wrote in a client note that there are a few reasons the Fed won’t move: The economic data would likely not change the Fed’s outlook in just one month, and there’s no scheduled press conference to give the Fed a chance to explain its decision.

DON’T MISS: A new element of uncertainty has been brought into the discussion of global monetary policy »

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