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Stocks end lower for first time in 4 days

Stocks end lower for first time in 4 days

Major stock indexes fell Friday for the first time in four days as a 6% plunge in Chinese stocks put the Shanghai composite index into correction territory. Despite the drop, stocks still posted strong weekly gains. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 99.89 points, a 0.6% drop to 18,015.95 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 11.25 points, or 0.5%, to 2109.99.1215-stock-market_full_600

Retreating slightly from its all-time closing high of the previous session — 5132.95 — the Nasdaq composite index fell 15.95 points, or 0.3%, to 5117.00. Utilities, financials and energy stocks were the hardest hit. Oil prices fell back below $60 a barrel as U.S. benchmark crude dropped 1.3% to $59.61 a barrel. For the week, the Dow was up 0.7% and the S&P 500 gained 0.8%. The Nasdaq jumped 1.3% as it hit new all-time highs Thursday.

Global concerns weighed on U.S. markets Friday as the stalemate between Greece and its creditors continued and concerns about a Chinese stock bubble were in focus. In Asian markets, the market drop in China did not spill over to the rest of the region. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.9% to 20,174.24 and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.9% to 26,760.53. Chinese shares have entered correction territory after worries that a bubble may be building in equity markets caused concern.

European investors were monitoring events in Europe, where Greece and its international lenders are deadlocked in bailout talks. Greece needs more loans from its creditors before June 30, when its current bailout program expires and a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) debt repayment is due. The European Union will hold crisis talks on Greece on Monday.

Markets in Europe were trading mixed as Germany’s DAX index fell 0.5% and Britain’s FTSE 100 index gained less than 0.1%. France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.3%. U.S. stocks in the prior session saw their biggest gains in a week after the Federal Reserve hinted it needs to see a stronger economy before raising interest rates.

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