NEW YORK – U.S. stocks fell for a second day Friday, adding to the massive sell-off the day before and giving the market its worst week in two years.
Investors found little reason to move money into stocks, faced with the growing geopolitical concerns in Israel and Ukraine, as well as banking problems in Europe.
For the last two years, investors have generally wanted to step in to buy after any major fall in the stock market, traders said, causing any sell-off to be met the following day with modest buying.
Traders said that the selling Friday, on top of what happened the day before, is not a good sign.
“The follow-through from yesterday’s (market drop) is very telling,” said Jonathan Corpina, a trader on the New York Stock Exchange with Meridian Equity Partners. “The end of this week could not come at a better time, as the weekend might provide some stability.”
Friday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,925.15. The index fell 2.7 percent this week, its worst weekly performance since June 2012.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 69.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,493.37. That’s on top of the 317-point drop the index had Thursday.
The Nasdaq composite fell 17.13 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,352.64.
Energy and financial stocks were among the biggest decliners. Chevron, the nation’s second-largest oil and gas company behind Exxon Mobil, fell $1.34, or 1 percent, to $127.90.
While Chevron’s earnings were better than analysts had predicted, the company’s oil and gas production fell in the quarter. Exxon also reported lower production when it released its results Thursday.
Banking stocks also fell. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs all slid roughly 2 percent.
Friday, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association ruled that Argentina had officially defaulted on its bonds for the second time in 13 years, in what the ISDA calls a “credit event.”
In Portugal, the struggling bank Banco Espirito Santo plunged 40 percent. Espirito Santo reported Wednesday a 3.5 billion euro net loss for the second quarter, and there were concerns the bank is insolvent.
The concerns over the Argentinian default as well as with European banks were the biggest driver of Friday’s market decline, said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
Proctor & Gamble was among the day’s winners. The stock rose $2.33, or 3 percent, to $79.65. The consumer products giant said it earned an adjusted profit of 95 cents a share, four cents better what analysts had expected. P&G helped lift other consumer staples companies, making the industry the best performing industry in the S&P 500.
The price of oil fell to the lowest level since Feb. 6. Benchmark U.S. crude oil dropped 29 cents to $97.88 a barrel and ended the week with a loss of $4.21 a barrel, or 4 percent.