We just witnessed the worst week for the US stock market in four years. The blue-chip Dow fell more than 500 points Friday and entered correction territory on an intra-day basis — defined as a 10% drop from recent highs. Major stock markets across Europe and Asia also closed sharply lower.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,459.75, -530.94, (-3.12%)
- S&P 500: 1,970.89, -64.84, (-3.19%)
- Nasdaq: 4,706.04, -171.45, (-3.52%)
And now, Friday’s top stories:
- Several records were broken during Friday’s chaos. In an afternoon email to clients, New York Stock Exchange floor manager Rich Barry noted that the Dow has not seen back-to-back drops of more than 300 points since November 2008. The S&P 500 fell more than 5% for the week — it hasn’t dropped more than 4% in a week since May 2012, and hasn’t lost 100 points within five days since October 2008. And the Chicago Board of Exchange’s Volatility Index — the so-called “fear index” — surged more than 25% today and logged its biggest weekly jump ever.
- Barry wrote, “We are getting whacked by the Slowing Global Growth Trade as China spooked global markets again by announcing that manufacturing in the World’s second largest economy has slumped to six and a half year lows.”
- Crude oil crashed below $US40 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures in New York fell more than 3% to as low as $US39.89. The plunge below $US40 happened after data from driller Baker Hughes showed that the oil-rig count rose by two to 672. Oil prices have fallen 35% from recent highs over concern that oversupply isn’t being matched by demand.
- John Deere says the agricultural industry will be in the pit for a while. The maker of equipment used in farming and construction reported third-quarter earnings results Friday morning that plunged year-over-year, but beat forecasts on the top and bottom lines. “John Deere’s third-quarter results reflected the continuing impact of the downturn in the farm economy as well as lower demand for construction equipment,” CEO Samuel Allen said. The company estimated that equipment sales will drop 21% for the rest of the fiscal year and cut its outlook for earnings.
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