Stocks Plunged on Global Economic Worries

U.S. stocks tumbled on Friday as investors worried about signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy that could hammer companies and countries around the world. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 530.94 points, or 3.12%, to 16,459.75. The S&P 500 lost 64.84 points, or 3.19%, to 1,970.89. The Dow and the S&P 500 both fell by around 5.8% on a weekly basis. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 171.45 points, or 3.52%, to 4,706.04, for a weekly decline of 6.8%.

Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed to its weakest pace in almost two years in August, according to an industry report released on Friday. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 52.9 in August,┬áits lowest since October 2013, from a final July reading of 53.8.

U.S. oil prices traded below $40 a barrel for the first time since the 2009 financial crisis, ending 2 percent lower on Friday. U.S. October crude settled 87 cents, or 2.1 percent, lower at $40.45 a barrel, having touched a new 6-1/2-year low of $39.86 a barrel.

U.S. energy firms added two oil rigs this week, the fifth increase in a row, signaling further pressure on a market awash with crude.

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