Wall Street took a nose dive Friday, with the major indices closing down more than 1% as investors worried over new regulations in China, Greek debt talks and mixed earnings. Friday's selloff nearly erased the year's gains for the Dow.
After a rocky day of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 279.67 points, or 1.54%, to 17826.10, the S&P 500 lost 23.83 points, or 1.13% to 2,081.15 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 75.98 points, or 1.52%, to 4,931.81.
In addition, all 30 Dow components closed in the red, with American Express (NYSE:AXP) hardest hit, closing down over 4.4%.
Interestingly, oil rose 7.94% for the week, the largest one-week gain in crude in more than four years.
There were media reports from China which said Chinese regulators will now reportedly allow fund managers to lend stocks for short selling. There was also concern about more regulatory clampdowns possible in China.
And Greece and its international creditors will meet Saturday in Brussels to discuss Athens' massive debt bailout program and reforms it must adopt in exchange for urgently needed funds, the EU said.
In earnings news, General Electric (NYSE:GE) shares closed down about 0.1% after reporting mixed quarterly results. This Dow member posted adjusted earnings of $0.31 for 1Q versus an estimate of $0.30, but overall results were impacted by charges due to the divestment of some of its GE Capital assets.
Meanwhile, industrial rival Honeywell (NYSE:HON) traded down about 2% or so, as it reported a gain in first quarter earnings of $1.41 versus an estimate of $1.39, but cut its sales forecast for 2015. The company now sees sales between $39 billion -- $39.6 billion.
Previously Honeywell had expected sales to be as much as $41.1 billion. In a statement Honeywell Chairman and CEO David Cote said, "While we are off to a strong start to 2015, we will continue to plan conservatively as the global economic environment continues to evolve." The impact of foreign currency impacted the quarter, along with the divestiture of its Friction Materials unit, and raw materials pricing in its Resins & Chemicals group.
Another Dow component, AmEx, reported a quarterly earnings beat of $1.48 versus $1.33 a year earlier, but revenue fell 3% from a year ago. The company said results for the quarter were negatively affected by the significant impact of a stronger U.S. dollar on international operations.
In economic news, U.S. Consumer prices are seeing a modest pick-up. Excluding food and energy, the CPI Index rose 1.8% in March, according to the Labor Department. Overall prices for the month were little changed at -0.1%. And the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for April was better than expected at 95.9 versus an estimated 94.0.