Stocks Pummeled by Euro Anxiety in Worst Week Since November

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Wall Street was pounded on the week, with economically-sensitive sectors leading the losses, as traders fretted about the escalating debt crisis in Europe.

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Today's Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 73.3 points, or 0.59%, to 12369, the S&P 500 dipped 9.6 points, or 0.74%, to 1295 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 34.9 points, or 1.2%, to 2779

The Dow and broader S&P 500 have both closed in the red for six days in a row. For the week, the Dow dropped 3.5%, the S&P shed 4.3% and the Nasdaq plunged 5.3%. It was the worst week since November for the Dow and S&P and darkest since September for the Nasdaq.

The losses have been driven by a growing fear that the tumult in Greece will cascade into other weak eurozone nations, like Spain, and a signs pointing to a slower economic recovery in the U.S.

Indeed, the sectors that sustained the heaviest selling were: financial, basic material, consumer discretionary, energy, technology and industrial. All six are considered sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. On the other end of the spectrum, defensive plays like health-care, utilities, consumer staples and telecommunications firms fared the best by far.

Moody's Investors Service slashed the credit rating of 16 Spanish lenders, and a U.K. subsidiary of Banco Santander, after the closing bell on Thursday. The ratings company cited a weakening individual credit assessment for the banks and the government's lessening ability to step in if needed.

The cost to insure against a Spanish default once again lurched to a record high, while the yield on the country's 10-year bonds on the secondary market sat at the painful level of 6.25%. The rate hasn't been that high since November.

Traders were also keeping a close eye on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) made its debut. The first trade in the social network was at $42.05 a share, up from the $38 that it priced at on Thusday. However, by the end of the day, shares had receded to the $38.23 mark.

"Only time will tell whether this most-awaited of IPOs will be enough to distract everyone from the unfolding drama in Europe," David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index in London wrote in an e-mail.

Commodities markets were mixed on the day. Crude oil traded in New York fell $1.08, or 1.2%, to $91.48 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.39% to $2.89 a gallon.

In metals, gold jumped $17.00, or 1.1%, to $1,592 a troy ounce. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury climbed 0.038-percentage point to 1.738% after closing on the day on Thursday at a record low.

Foreign Markets

Eurozone blue chips slipped 0.1%, the English FTSE 100 sold off by 1.3% to 5338 and the German DAX slumped 0.6% to 6271.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 plunged 3% to 8611 and the Chinese Hang Seng sold off by 1.3% to 18952.