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U.S. market ends low week with big drop in earnings

Alex Veiga Associated Press

The U.S. stock market capped a four-day losing streak with its biggest drop of the week.

Disappointing quarterly results and outlooks from several companies pulled the major stock indexes sharply lower on Friday. New signs pointing to a slowing of China’s economy also added to investor jitters, bringing down the price of oil and other commodities.

While corporate profits have mostly exceeded Wall Street’s expectations so far this earnings season, investors have grown uneasy as many companies provided cautious outlooks or weak sales.

“The revenue numbers have been very shaky,” said JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief strategist. “After next week, we’ll have a much better picture overall how the earnings season was. But right now, that’s the theme that I’m seeing, and it’s not a healthy one.”

The mixed company earnings increasingly weighed on stocks as the week wore on. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has now lost ground four out of the last five weeks.

The S&P 500 ended the day down 22.5 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,079.65, while the Dow Jones industrial average slid 163.39 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,568.53. The Nasdaq composite lost 57.78 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,088.63.

Stocks kicked off the week on a strong note, driving the Nasdaq to its latest record high and bringing the S&P 500 close to a milestone of its own. But it’s been downhill since then. The Dow fell into negative territory for the year on Thursday. As of Friday, it was down 1.4 percent for 2015.

The tech-focused Nasdaq remains the best-performing index for the year. It’s up 7.4 percent, compared with 1 percent for the S&P 500.

Investors did welcome Amazon’s latest quarterly report card. The e-commerce pioneer announced a surprise profit late Thursday. The stock vaulted $47.24, or 9.8 percent, to $529.42.

Nine of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 ended lower. Health care stocks fell the most, 2.5 percent. Utilities edged higher.

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