U.S. stocks fell broadly on Friday, as the major indexes snapped a four-week streak of gains after weak consumer sentiment data fueled concerns about the strength of an economic recovery.
Data from the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers showed consumer confidence fell more than expected in early August, dropping to its lowest level since March.
The weak report underscores the worry that consumer demand remains soft, denting the hopes for a rebound that has fueled the rally in stocks. Stocks have come under pressure this week on weaker-than-expected reports on consumer activity.
The market movement today is because of the consumer confidence number, which surprised everyone, said Paul Nolte, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates in Hinsdale Illinois. It's also a tag to yesterday's retail sales data, which was also worse than expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dipped 76.79 points, or 0.82 percent, to 9,321.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> lost 8.64 points, or 0.85 percent, to 1,004.09. The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 23.83 points, or 1.19 percent, to 1,985.52.
For the week, the Dow shed 0.5 percent, the S&P fell 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq slid 0.7 percent.
Retail stocks fell, a victim of the poor sentiment data and a weak outlook from department store JC Penney Inc
JC Penney tumbled 6.2 percent to $31.29 while the S&P Retail index <.RLX> fell 1.7 percent after the department store signaled that its full-year results could fall short of expectations.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co
Among other economic indicators on Friday, U.S. industrial output gained for the first time in nine months in July, rising more than expected, and U.S. consumer prices suggested that inflation would remain mild.
Volume was light on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.09 billion shares changing hands, below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on the Nasdaq, about 1.93 billion shares traded, below last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 2159 to 859, while declining stocks beat advancers on the Nasdaq, by 2084 to 585.
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)