Oil slide, China worries send Wall Street tumbling

New York, Wall Street's three major stock indexes lost ground on Friday, after a week of recovery from the October sell-off, as oil prices fell further and more evidence of a slowing Chinese economy was reported.

Oil prices fell nearly 1.0 percent on Friday, and have now seen the longest stretch of daily declines since 1984, on rising global supply and evidence of a slowing world economy.

The United States formally imposed punitive sanctions on Iran this week, but granted eight countries temporary waivers allowing them to keep buying oil from Tehran. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 201.92 points, or 0.77 percent, to 25,989.3, the S and P 500 lost 25.82 points, or 0.92 percent, to 2,781.01 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 123.98 points, or 1.65 percent, to 7,406.90.

The S and P energy index dropped 0.4 percent after falling 2.2 percent in the previous day's session when U.S. crude prices confirmed a bear market by falling 20 percent from their most recent high.

Investors appeared unwilling to take on risk, sending the S and P technology index down 1.7 percent as Apple Inc dropped 1.9 percent and semiconductor stocks tumbled 1.9 percent.

Eight of the 11 major S and P sectors ended the day lower.

The consumer staples index was the biggest gainer with a 0.5 percent rise while other defensive sectors such as utilities and real estate eked out small gains.

The latest data on U.S. producer price inflation did little to ease worries about rising interest rates which have hampered gains in stocks this year.

Shares in tobacco companies fell after an official said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would issue a ban on the sale of fruit and candy flavored electronic cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations.

Altria Group ended 2.98 percent lower while British American Tobacco's U.S. shared fell 4.2 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.22-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.95-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The benchmark S and P 500 index posted 29 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 46 new highs and 113 new lows.

On U.S. exchanges 7.93 billion shares changed hands compared with the 8.39 billion average from the last 20 sessions.

Source: Saudi Press Agency