Wall Street sinks again as worries about economy weigh

Wall Street sinks again as worries about economy weigh

Wall Street sinks again as worries about economy weigh

Healthcare, consumer staples and energy stocks were the only ones higher.

However, for the week, the S&P 500 fell 2.3 percent, its biggest weekly drop since the week of March 20.

Wall Street's main indices ended a choppy session higher yesterday, with the S&P 500 rising more than 1% as investors looked forward to the prospect of some U.S. states lifting curbs on business and social activities.

The S&P 500 regrouped 11.2 points to 2,863.70.

China's countermeasures include launching investigations and imposing restrictions on U.S. companies such as Apple Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Qualcomm Inc, as well as suspending purchase of Boeing Co airplanes, the report said, citing a source.

Friday's initial drop in stocks came after Reuters reported the Trump administration had moved to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei Technologies, signaling an escalation in tensions between the USA and China.

U.S. retail sales sank 16.4 per cent in April, the Commerce Department reported on Friday, worse than forecasts of a 12 per cent drop.

The health care sector was the big mover on the day, gaining 10.6 per cent on strong results from Aurora Cannabis Inc. that prompted its shares to surge almost 67 per cent Friday. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 23.06 points, or 0.26%, at 8,966.78. Royal Caribbean climbed 6.5% and Carnival rose 4.2%.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors closed higher, led by a 1.3 per cent gain in communications services.

Crude oil prices gained 12.8 per cent for the week on increasing demand with economic reopenings and lower production from Saudi Arabia and US shale producers.

Stocks rose strongly in April and the first week of May amid hopes for a speedy rebound from coronavirus shutdowns due in part to unprecedented fiscal spending from Washington.

The three main stock indexes are now headed for their worst week since mid-March, as hopes of a quick economic recovery were dashed this week following sobering comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and leading USA infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.

"We've seen over the past couple of days that the China risk has re-emerged into the equation", said Macan Nia, senior investment strategist at Manulife Investment Management.

U.S. retail sales plunged by 16.4 per cent in April as the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses shut across the world's largest economy, the Commerce Department said.

Major indexes fell to start the day before turning higher.

However, retail sales in China fell more than expected in April, pointing to a large dent in consumption.

Analysts blamed the remarks for sucking momentum out of USA markets, which have rallied with few pullbacks since early April on anticipation of a speedy economic recovery.

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