Wall Street closed out its worst week in over a year on Friday, with stocks dropping precipitously across the board about two percent by the bell, as investors were seized with fears of risk after data emerged suggesting weaker than expected growth out of China, as well as currency devaluations in key emerging market countries such as Turkey and India.
Standard & Poor’s 500: -2.09 percent to 1,790.29
Dow Jones Industrial Average: -1.96 percent to 15,879.11
NASDAQ Exchange: -2.15 percent to 4,128.17
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On the Dow:
The Dow Industrials were hit the worst to cap off what was already a terrible week for the benchmark index, with most components in the red by at least one percent. The only companies able to withstand the sell-off were Microsoft (MSFT) and Procter & Gamble (PG) making substantial gains after both released better-than-expected earnings reports for the recently-ended quarter. Major drug manufacturer Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) also edged up, after news that the Food and Drug Administration determined that an allergy treatment in the company’s pipeline entailed no serious side effects.
On the S&P 500:
The week’s selling activity finally caught up with the S&P, whose only bright spot aside from Microsoft was tech hardware manufacturer Juniper Networks (JNPR) , who rose over 6 percent on some of the day’s heaviest trading, after another activist shareholder joined the chorus of those pressing for changes at the company.
Otherwise, techs were the hardest-hit by Friday’s bloodbath, with Micron Technology (MU) , Intel (INTC) , Yahoo! (YHOO) and Facebook (FB) were all dragged substantially lower. Aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) lost 5 percent after what had been a decent week, resulting from forecasts pointing to slower global economic growth in the year ahead.
On the NASDAQ:
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) continued to shine, adding 20 percent by the closing bell as rumours of a big-pharma buyout continue to gain credibility. Other biotech stocks caught in the updraft included BioDelivery Services International (BDSI) , whose shares ended the day up nearly 50 percent.
Ubiquitous coffee-seller Starbucks (SBUX) added 2.5 percent after reporting excellent sales increases, but the NASDAQ buckled under its own tech sell-off, with Cisco Systems (CSCO) , Plug Power Inc (PLUG) , and BlackBerry (BBRY) joining the aforementioned companies in trading substantially lower on heavy volume.
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