Stocks closed out their worst month in more than a year by sliding again on more unsettling news about Europe.
The Dow Jones industrials dropped 122 points Friday after Fitch Ratings gave Spain the second downgrade of its credit rating in a month. The rating agency's action was another reminder to traders of the long-term economic problems still facing several European countries, and pehaps the rest of the continent and the global economy as well.
The last trading day of May fit the pattern of the rest of the month. Stocks alternately plunged and recovered, then dropped late in the day as investors facing a holiday weekend decided to play it safe and sell.
May was difficult as persistent and intensifying worries about Europe's debt problems sent the Dow down 7.9 percent and the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index down 8.2 percent. Both indexes had their worst monthly performance since February 2009, the month before stocks began their recovery from 12-year lows. The Dow had its biggest May drop since 1962.
The Dow fell 122.36 points Friday, or 1.2 percent, to 10,136.63. The S&P 500 index fell 13.65, or 1.2 percent, to 1,089.41, while the Nasdaq composite index dropped 20.64, or 0.9 percent, to 2,257.04.- AP