May 14th, 2010
10:42 PM ET

Stocks take hit while oil, euro hit lows

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks take a hit

Stocks slumped Friday on worries that Europe's economic woes could spread to the United States, while the euro fell to 18-month lows versus the dollar and gold hit fresh records.

Investors dumped stocks and fled to safe-haven areas of the market such as the dollar, gold and government debt.

Despite the drop, the three major indexes finished higher for the week, with the Dow rising 2.3%, the S&P up 2.2% and the Nasdaq up 3.6%. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 163 points, or 1.5%.

Oil falls to 3-month low

Crude prices fell to a three-month low in electronic trading Friday amid a stronger dollar, higher supply and an approaching expiration for the June futures contract.

Crude for June delivery slipped $1.32 to $73.08 a barrel in global trading before the open of U.S. markets Friday. The last time oil fell below $74 was on Feb. 9, when it settled at $73.75.

Gasoline prices at the pump fell for the eighth day in a row, slipping to
$2.883 a gallon from $2.890 the day before, according to a survey by motorist group AAA.

Oil prices have been falling for the last four days, as concerns about economic instability in Europe have driven the dollar higher against the euro. A stronger dollar often dampens the price of oil, which is priced in the currency, as it makes it more expensive for foreign investors.

Euro falls to 18-month low

The euro fell to an 18-month low against the dollar Friday as investors remain worried about the outlook for economic growth in Europe.

The dollar rose 1.4% against the euro to $1.2365. Earlier, the euro fell to a low of $1.2359, the lowest level since November 2008. The dollar rose 0.6% versus the British pound to $1.4524. It was down 0.3% against the Japanese yen at ¥92.45.

Earlier in the week, the euro leaped on the weekend announcement of a nearly $1 trillion European rescue package. But as the week wore on, investors turned back to lingering problems in the euro zone.

Treasurys continue to climb

Treasurys extended gains Friday as investors continued to worry about European debt and the global economic recovery.

The benchmark 10-year note rose 21/32 to 100-13/32, pushing the yield down to 3.45% from 3.54% on Thursday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. The 30-year bond was the one exception, falling 2-21/32 to 100-20/32 and yielding 4.34% after a $16 billion auction on Thursday.

Markets tumbled on Friday as investors feared that the euro zone's economic problems could spread to the U.S. reporters Alexandra Mooney, Ben Rooney, Chavon Sutton, Blake Ellis and Annalyn Censky contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. gaetano marano

    As direct derivative of the latest BP idea (but much better) in my oil spill article's update, I propose a NEW, SAFER, CHEAPER, FASTER IDEA that could close the hole and stop the oil spill IN A MATTER OF HOURS! It uses a ballon with a strong metal core to be inserted in the riser, then inflated with compressed air or a mix of water and concrete:

    May 15, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Damião Carlos

    What will happen with the planet? green peace around the world, we have to stopped to kill ourselves. After the ocean warmed up different kind of fish are killed.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sez

    i'll tell you what will happen to planet. it will come to an end;)

    man im telling you, the world is coming to an end... shame but the truth.... start praying!

    May 18, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |