U.S. stocks skidded Friday in a wave of selling that wiped out most of the market’s gains from earlier this week. A drop in oil prices took energy companies sharply lower. Investors were also troubled by a poll showing Britain may be more likely to leave the European Union.
Oil prices fell by the largest amount in two months, and banks slumped as bond yields fell for the second consecutive day, pulling interest rates lower. Machinery, technology and consumer stocks also lost ground. It was the market’s biggest loss in more than three weeks.
Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager for U.S. Bank’s Private Client Reserve, said investors are guessing at the outcome of the British referendum and the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week, as well as the impending U.S. presidential election.
“There’s just not a good way to handicap the outcome just yet,” he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 119.85 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,865.34. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.9 percent, to 2,096.07. The Nasdaq composite shed 1.3 percent, to 4,894.55.
U.S. crude shed $1.49, or 2.9 percent, to $49.07 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, fell $1.28, or 2.5 percent, to $50.56 a barrel in London. Oil prices had reached 11-month highs in the last few days. — AP