The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 61.23 points, or 0.51%, to 11,983.24, the S&P 500 dipped 7.92 points, or 0.63%, to 1,253.23 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.82 points, or 0.44%, to 2,686.15.
“Events continue to spiral beyond the control of European policy-makers. With so much time and effort being put into Greece, the troika now finds itself facing a much bigger problem: Italy,” Win Thin, of Brown Brothers Harriman, wrote in a note.
While the week saw U.S. economic data as encouraging, European woes with Greece dominated the headlines all week long. It all began on Monday when Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced he was calling for a referendum on the bailout deal reached the previous week by European Union leaders in Brussels, Belgium. It continued through the week as Germany and France summoned Papandreou to Cannes, France for a meeting before the start of the G-20 summit.
Investors worldwide are disappointed by the G-20’s response to the European crisis as little has changed. It seems as these leaders have no idea on how to reach a consensus on which direction should be forged to contain the problems with Greece and keep it from spreading.
Financial markets had been hoping for more progress out of a euro-zone summit earlier this week and then the G-20 meeting on Friday. Trader anxiety was sent to new heights when German Chancellor Angela Merkel said hardly any G-20 countries have agreed to participate in the region’s bailout fund. Echoing those comments, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said the country won’t fund the euro zone’s bailout directly or through the International Monetary Fund.
Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) had its IPO on Friday and closed the day up more than 30% at $26.11. The stock actually finished lower than where it opened though as it started the day at $30. Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) fell after the company announced it will be getting rid of 1,400 workers. LinkedIn Inc. (NYSE:LNKD) closed down nearly 6% following its first quarterly loss since the company went public.
With all the dreaded news or lack thereof, the blue chips slumped 248 points, giving back a chunk of the gains from October, which marked Wall Street’s strongest monthly performance since 2002.