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S&P 500 has its worst week in 2 years

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm •  Published: August 1, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell for a second day Friday, adding to the massive sell-off the day before and giving the market its worst week in two years.

Investors found little reason to move money into stocks, faced with the growing geopolitical concerns in Israel and Ukraine, as well as banking problems in Europe.

For the last two years investors have generally wanted to step in to buy any major fall in the stock market, traders said, causing any sell-off to be met the following day with modest buying. Traders said that the selling Friday, on top of what happened the day before, is not a good sign.

"The follow-through from yesterday's (market drop) is very telling," said Jonathan Corpina, a trader on the New York Stock Exchange with Meridian Equity Partners. "The end of this week could not come at a better time as the weekend might provide some stability."

On Friday the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 5.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,925.15. The index fell 2.7 percent this week, its worst weekly performance since June 2012.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 69.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,493.37. That's on top of the 317-point drop the index had on Thursday. The Nasdaq composite fell 17.13 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,352.64.

Energy and financial stocks were among the biggest decliners. Chevron, the nation's second-largest oil and gas company behind Exxon Mobil, fell $1.34, or 1 percent, to $127.90. While Chevron's earnings were better than analysts had predicted, the company's oil and gas production fell in the quarter. Exxon also reported lower production when it released its own results Thursday.

Banking stocks also fell. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs all slid roughly 2 percent.

On Friday, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association ruled that Argentina had officially defaulted on its bonds for the second time in 13 years, in what the ISDA calls a "credit event." In a "credit event," investors who own credit-default swaps, a type of insurance that protects against a bond issuer defaulting, are activated and the companies which wrote the policies must pay the investors who own them.

In Portugal, the struggling bank Banco Espirito Santo plunged 40 percent. Espirito Santo reported Wednesday a 3.5 billion euro net loss for the second quarter, and there were concerns the bank is insolvent.

The concerns over the Argentinian default and as well as with European banks were the biggest driver of Friday's market decline, said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

"The market doesn't like anything that could potentially disrupt the credit markets," Golub said, noting that indicators of market volatility jumped on Friday.

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