NEW YORK — A surge in the price of oil, along with warnings by companies across several sectors that profits would be below expectations, chilled trading on Friday. Major indices finished the week down, erasing prior gains.
The S&P 500 closed the week down 0.4 percent to 1,265.48 from 1,270.20 in the prior week. In the retail sector, the WWD Composite Stock Index plunged 2.7 percent to 1,071.23 from 1,101.12 in the previous week.
Aside from higher oil prices, a report from the Labor Department on Friday revealed fewer-than-expected new jobs. Investors took the report as a sign of a slowing economy.
On Thursday, retailers reported weaker same-store sales for last month. Results were up against robust gains in the same month last year. Citigroup equity analyst Deborah Weinswig said the Citigroup Broadlines Same-Store Sales Index grew 2.6 percent in June, “below our forecast of 3.1 percent. However, June [comps] were the most difficult comparison for the year. The department stores outperformed, increasing 3.5 percent this month compared to the general merchandisers who gained 2.4 percent.”
Weinswig added that for this month, “broadlines retailers have a conservative outlook in light of higher gas prices and what they are expecting from the promotional environment.”