(Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Friday as oil prices slipped to their lowest in more than a year, dragging down energy shares, while investors were nervous ahead of U.S.-China trade talks at the G20 summit next week.
Volumes are likely to be thin in a shortened trading session on Friday, with the U.S. stock market closing at 1 p.m. ET (1800 GMT). The market was shut on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 fell more than 4 percent even as oil producers considered cutting production to stem a rising global surplus.
Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) fell about 2 percent each and were the top losers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI. Oilfield services providers Schlumberger NV (SLB.N) and Halliburton Co (HAL.N) fell nearly 3 percent. Marathon Oil Corp (MRO.N) shed 3.5 percent.
That pressured the S&P energy index .SPNY, which fell 3.1 percent, the most among 11 major S&P sectors, which were either trading flat or in the red.
“The post-holiday abbreviated session is looking bleak as the futures point to a weak opening with crude prices tumbling in early pre-market trading,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
At 9:49 a.m. EDT, the Dow was down 96.31 points, or 0.39 percent, at 24,368.38, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 10.88 points, or 0.41 percent, at 2,639.05 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 0.10 points, or 0.00 percent, at 6,972.16.
The Nasdaq, which has lost 3.8 percent so far this week, is on pace for its biggest weekly decline since late March as worries about a cooling global economy and peaking corporate earnings have led investors to sell high-growth names, particularly in the technology sector.
Investors will be focusing on the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to hold talks amid a worsening trade dispute between the two countries that has weighed on financial markets and sparked fears of a global slowdown.
The high-stakes meeting comes as the Trump administration shows little sign of backing down in its demands and rhetoric. Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said on Friday that trade talks should be equal and mutually beneficial.
Adding to worries, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. government was trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL].
Retail stocks will be in focus as U.S. shoppers hit department stores for Black Friday deals, with a strong economy and rising wages driving a solid start to the holiday selling season.
Among other stocks, United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) rose 2.4 percent after receiving conditional approval from China’s market regulator to buy aircraft parts maker Rockwell Collins Inc (COL.N). Rockwell shares jumped 9.1 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.30-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.18-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week highs and 14 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded two new highs and 32 new lows.