Stocks Ended Sharply Lower; Nasdaq Under 4,000

U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Friday, as biotech and momentum stocks extended losses from the previous session’s sharp losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 143.47 points, or 0.9%, at 16,026.75. The blue-chip index shed 2.4% for the week. The S&P 500 fell 17.39 points, or 1%, at 1,815.69. The benchmark lost 2.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite COMP slid 54.37 points, or 1.3%, at 3,999.73. It fell 3.1% for the week.

U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April to its highest in nine months as both current conditions and expectations brightened, a survey
released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary April reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 82.6, the highest since July, compared with the final reading of 80.0 in March.

Herbalife Ltd. (HLF), the company that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has accused of being a pyramid scheme, is being probed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Retailer Coldwater Creek, faced with declining sales and mounting debt, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Sandpoint, ID., based women’s fashion and accessories chain says it expects to start liquidating inventory early next month after failing to find business options, including a sale. The company was hurt by a string of annual losses and declining sales.

Gold futures closed with a modest loss on Friday, on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar and upbeat economic data. Gold for June delivery fell by $1.50, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,319 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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