Close Update: Stock Indexes Retreat to Pare Week's Gain as Oil Slides

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Stocks traded lower on Friday, paring week-to-date gains after oil prices fell amid news that Iran wouldn't send its energy minister to an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries conference in Qatar this weekend.

The energy sector posted the largest fall among the S&P 500's industry groups, down 1.2% as US oil futures fell 2.8%. Iran will be represented by Kazempour Ardebili at the April 17 OPEC meeting rather than Minister Bijan Zangeneh, reported Shana, the ministry's news agency. The minister isn't attending "as the country has clearly announced it will not follow suit of the freeze plan," Shana said. Ardebili is Iran's OPEC governor.

Prices for US benchmark oil fell 2.8%West Texas Intermediate dropped 2.3% to $40.36 a barrel, while Brent, the main international variety, was down 1.8% to $43.05.

The financial sector slipped 0.3% after more banks reported earnings, while utilities managed a 0.6% gain for the top performance among the S&P sectors.

In economic data, March capacity utilization fell to a 74.8 reading from a downwardly revised 75.3 a month earlier, missing estimates for 75.4. Industrial production fell 0.6%, missing forecasts for a decline of 0.1%. Consumer sentiment as measured by the University of Michigan fell to its lowest level since September, with the preliminary 89.7 reading for missing expectations for a small improvement to 91.8.

The April New York Empire State manufacturing survey surged to 9.56 from 0.62 in March, exceeding the expected rise to 3.00, but landing at the top end of the consensus range between a negative 0.50 and a positive 10.0, according to data compiled by Econoday.

On the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4%, the S&P 500 advanced 1.3% and the Nasdaq Composite increased 1.5%.

Here's where the markets stood by the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 28.97 points (-0.16%)

S&P 500 was down 2.05 points (-0.10%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.67 points (-0.16%)


FTSE 100 was down 0.34%

Nikkei 225 was down 0.37%

Hang Seng Index was down 0.1%

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.14%


(+) GBSN (+62.27%) Says Q1 preliminary sales rise 59.4% from year-ago

(+) ORPN (+12.92%) Gains ahead of presentation on oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy trial results

(+) LINE (+10.78%) Updates on status of debt interest payments, deals with lenders

(+) AFCO (+9.38%) Reviewing strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value


(-) SUNE (-36.76%) SEC disclosure indicates allowance for bankruptcy

(-) CLRB (-31.15%) Prices $7 million public offering (-)

(-) RLYP (-15.94%) Centerview Partners reportedly no longer advising company on sale

(-) ESV (-6.52%) To sell 50 million shares in public offering

(-) GS (-1.52%) Undergoing massive cost-cutting measures including layoffs, Bloomberg reports

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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