U.S. stocks fell slightly Friday as a dip in oil prices dragged energy companies lower, but for the week stocks ended sharply higher. Trading was quiet as investors looked ahead to weekend meetings on the global economy and oil.
Oil fell 3 percent and made the energy sector worst performer by far in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Utility companies led the gainers.
At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 28.9 points, about 0.2 percent, to 17,897.5. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 2.1 points, about 0.1 percent, at 2,080.7, and the Nasdaq composite was off 7.7 points, about 0.2 percent, at 4,938.2.
Oil prices slipped early Friday, dragging energy companies lower. The price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was down $1.16, about 2.8 percent, at 40.34 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, the international standard Brent crude lost 68 cents, about 1.6 percent, to $43.16 a barrel.
This weekend, finance ministers from leading industrial nations are to meet in Washington, and major oil-producing nations are to meet in Doha, Qatar, to discuss cutting production.