Wall St slips as oil slump drags energy stocks

The S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were slightly lower on Friday as a steep drop in oil prices pressured energy stocks.

Crude oil prices declined more than 2.5%, or about $2 per barrel, after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they were ready to ease supply curbs that have pushed prices to their highest since 2014.

The S&P energy index slid 2.8%, on track for its biggest one-day%age decline since Feb. 8. All the 31 components of the index were in the red.

Shares of Exxon and Chevron both fell more than 2%, while service firms Schlumberger, Halliburton and producers Occidental Petroleum and ConocoPhillips were down between 3% and 4.2%.

“With the long weekend ahead low volume should be expected, paving the way for a range-bound trading session,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Markets are closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

The main indexes ended only slightly lower on Thursday after recovering from what market participants said was a knee-jerk reaction to President Donald Trump cancelling a meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

However, Trump on Friday raised the possibility that the summit could still take place on June 12 as originally planned.

At 9:52 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 72.70 points, or 0.29%, at 24,739.06, the S&P 500 was down 7.82 points, or 0.29%, at 2,719.94 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 6.15 points, or 0.08%, at 7,430.58.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were down.

A surge in shares of Foot Locker boosted the consumer discretionary index. Foot Locker jumped 9.9% following a better-than-expected quarterly profit, lifting shares in Nike which has a partnership with the footwear retailer.

Among decliners, apparel retailer Gap plunged 11.2% after quarterly same-store sales missed estimates.

Autodesk fell 3.4% after the AutoCAD owner forecast second-quarter profit below expectations.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.52-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 42 new highs and 11 new lows. 

Source: moneyweb.co.za