(Reuters) – The S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped on Friday as a steep drop in oil prices weighed on energy stocks, with losses limited by gains in chipmakers and healthcare shares.
U.S. crude declined more than 3.5 percent to $68.24 per barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they were ready to ease supply curbs that have pushed prices to their highest since 2014. [O/R]
The S&P energy index .SPNY slid 3.1 percent, on track for its biggest one-day percentage decline since Feb. 8. All the 31 components of the index slipped into the red.
“Oil prices got a little bit ahead of themselves, market participants were moving the price a little bit more than the underlying fundamentals,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at GlobALT Investments in Atlanta, Georgia.
The markets this week have been roiled by trade tensions with China, U.S. threat of imposing tariffs on imported cars and uncertainty over a U.S.-North Korea summit.
President Donald Trump on Friday said the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could still take place on June 12 as originally planned, a day after canceling it.
At 11:27 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 26.93 points, or 0.11 percent, at 24,784.83, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.58 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,723.18 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 18.15 points, or 0.24 percent, at 7,442.57.
“It could be that people don’t want to hold positions over the weekend with so many things that are uncertain,” said Martin.
Trading volumes were thin ahead of the long weekend, with markets shut on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
A 13.3 percent surge in shares of Foot Locker (FL.N) boosted the consumer discretionary .SPLRCD index after the company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, lifting shares in Nike (NKE.N) which has a partnership with the footwear retailer.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN.O) rose 4.5 percent after receiving FDA approval for its drug to treat a rare metabolic disorder and propping up the Nasdaq Biotech index .NBI.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 80 new highs and 21 new lows.
Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo