Dow sinks by 500 points after week of losses

Traders worked the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday

Traders worked the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes, the benchmark for interest rates, has risen swiftly, stoking investor concerns that higher rates could weigh on company earnings and equity prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 660 points Friday, as the stock market capped the worst week in two years, experts said.

Shares of Exxon Mobil dropped 5.10 per cent to close at $84.53 apiece after it reported weaker-than-expected earnings on Friday.

The fall came after a string of disappointing earnings reports from giants such as Apple.

HOLIDAY BOOST: Amazon climbed 4.6 percent after its fourth-quarter profit increased by more than $1 billion.

Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $1.87 a gallon and heating oil fell 4 cents to $2.05 a gallon.

The S&P 500 and the Dow are both on track for their biggest one-week declines in more than two years.

Weak earnings from several giant USA companies including Exxon Mobil and Alphabet, Google's parent company, further dented investors' confidence.

Sony, which recently posted stellar quarterly earnings, especially in its entertainment division, was the only major media conglomerate to trade higher on Friday, closing up 6 percent.

The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 2.1 percent. More broadly, the S&P 500 index fell 2.1% at 2,761, while the Nasdaq Composite index finished down 2% at 7,240. Brent crude, used to price global oils, fell $1.07, or 1.5 percent, to $68.58 a barrel in London. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.84 percent from 2.79 percent late Thursday.

Yet, as CNN pointed out, the Dow is still just 3.9 percent below its record high of 26,616.71, which was achieved just last week on January 26.

Quake reported in North India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
There are also reports that people in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan also felt the impact of the quake . A 6.1-magnitude natural disaster struck the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan on Wednesday afternoon.

Technology companies also fell. Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange slid 5.7 percent to $8,560.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 665.75 points to 25,520.96.

MSCI's all-country world index of equity performance in 47 countries fell 1.07 pe rcent while its gauge of emerging market stocks lost 1.54 per cent.

Wall Street was heading for its worst week in two years on Friday as markets in Europe also continued to tumble from record-high levels reached less than a month ago.

SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS: Google's parent company Alphabet slumped 4.6 percent after the search giant reported results that missed analysts' forecasts.

Germany's DAX Index sank 1.7 percent, the most since June.

Friday's Dow drop tells a different economic story than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' jobs report that was also released Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dipped 0.1 percent.

The Japanese yen fell 0.7 percent to 110.144 per dollar, the weakest since January 23.

Bond market strategists had expected a more gradual rise in bond yields, which move opposite price.

Japan's 10-year yield dipped one basis point to 0.086 percent.

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