NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks resumed their downward slide in a holiday-shortened session on Friday (Nov 23) as a sharp drop in oil prices sparked global growth worries.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.7 per cent at 24,285.95.
The broad-based S&P 500 also shed 0.7 per cent to 2,632.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 0.5 per cent to 6,938.98.
Petroleum-linked shares suffered a bruising session after oil prices plummeted to their lowest level in more than a year. Dow members Exxon Mobil and Chevron both lost more than 2 per cent.
Traders took a dim reading of the significance of the oil pullback, retreating into sell-off mode after big Wall Street declines on Monday and Tuesday that were countered by modest gains on Wednesday. Trading volumes were low, with many on Wall Street home after Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.
"The decline in oil prices is troubling because it means that the global economy is weakening," said Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital.
Retailer shares were mixed as "Black Friday" sales kicked off the annual holiday shopping season. Walmart, Best Buy and Gap all rose, while Amazon Target and Macy's fell.
Analysts expect holiday sales to rise between 4 and 5 per cent this season, owing to a strong labour market.
Airplane-parts maker Rockwell Collins surged 9.2 per cent after Chinese deregulators approved its US$23 billion (S$31 billion) takeover by United Technologies. Dow member United Technologies gained 2.6 per cent, the final hurdle to the deal.