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US stocks fall sharply after a volatile session; Dow crashes 185 points, Crude nears $ 70/bbl levels

Saturday, June 23, 2007

U.S. stocks fell sharply in a volatile session Friday and posted steep weekly losses, amid concerns about rising interest rates around the world, along with hedge-fund trouble linked to subprime mortgages. The market saw a brief afternoon reprieve after Bear Stearns Cos. said that all liquidations of assets from its two struggling hedge funds, which are tied to the distressed subprime mortgage market, would be put on hold.

The steep pullback coming a day after a respectable gain was characteristic of the erratic sessions Wall Street has endured in recent weeks as it dealt with concerns ranging from interest rates to the health of hedge funds to, more recently, the prospects of unfavorable legislation from Washington.

The Dow fell 185.58, or 1.37%, to 13,360.26. On Thursday, stocks had fluctuated before ending higher, with the Dow recovering 56 points following a 146-point tumble on Wednesday. Broader stock indicators also dropped sharply Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 19.63, or 1.29%, to 1,502.56, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 28.00, or 1.07%, to 2,588.96. The week was a rough one on the stock market. The Dow lost 2.1%, while the S&P 500 fell 2% and Nasdaq lost 1.4%.

Stocks, which had risen in the past 13 Fridays, lost ground even as bond yields fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 5.14% from 5.20% late Thursday. The dollar fell against most other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Crude oil regained some ground on Friday, adding 49 cents to close at $ 69.14 a barrel, amid concerns over the impact of a strike in Nigeria on production.

Posted by FR at 8:52 PM  


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