NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average posting its longest slide since 2011, amid declines in commodity producers while data showed continued progress in the labor market.
Energy companies dropped as oil sank to a four-month low, while raw materials fell the most in two weeks. Hershey slid 2.7 percent after quarterly revenue missed estimates. American Express rallied 6.3 percent as an activist fund was said to have amassed a stake in the company. Nvidia jumped 12 percent after predicting sales that may exceed some estimates.
The Dow slipped 46.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,373.38, falling for a seventh day to a six-month low. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.3 percent to 2,077.57, above its average price during the past 200 days. The Nasdaq composite index sank 0.3 percent, while the Russell 2000 index lost 0.7 percent, and briefly erased its gain for the year.
“I’m not surprised to see the market down, given the downward bias we’ve seen the last couple of days,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities. “If anything, the report slants the bias toward a September rate hike, given the strength of the jobs numbers.”
Investors also are watching corporate earnings to gauge the economy’s health. Some 88 percent of S&P 500 members have released results this season, with three-quarters beating profit estimates and half topping sales projections. Analysts now forecast a more modest drop in second-quarter earnings, calling for a 2.1 percent fall instead of a 6.4 percent decline last month.
The S&P 500 dropped 1.3 percent this week amid declines among media and biotechnology shares. Commodity producers have also slumped and Apple fell into a correction. The benchmark measure is up 0.9 percent this year, trailing most developed-market gauges. The Dow fell 1.8 percent in the week, with Walt Disney Co. leading declines.