Dow has worst week of 2013

On Friday, stocks were slightly lower at closing after a session that was up and down. Friday’s session followed the sharp declines experienced on Thursday and capped the Dow’s worst week of 2013.

On Friday, the Dow was down 0.2%, while the S&P 500 was off by 0.3% and Nasdaq dropped 0.1%. Over the week, the Dow was down more than 2.2%.

Investors once again have been haunted by increasing interest rates. The 10-year Treasury bond yield spiked on Friday to 2.85%, up from 2.76% on Thursday.

However, it eased back a bit to close the day at 2.83%. Yields at this time are at their highest point since July of 2011.

The housing market gave investors fresh news on Thursday. A government report said that builders had broken ground on new homes during July at an annualized rate of  over 896,000 units, which was up from June’s rate of 846,000 and just a few thousand short of the 900,000 that analysts forecast.

The strength in the housing market suggests that the interest rates rising only had a muted effect on the slowly recovering housing market.

In addition, investors were hit by a preliminary consumer confidence reading for August that was lower than expected.

The Dow was down 1.5% on Thursday, which represented its worst one-day fall in close to two months. On that same day, the S&P 500 fell 1.4% and the Nasdaq was off by 1.7%.

The selloff for two days pushed the S&P 500 under the 1,675 level, which is a key area viewed by Wall Street as the first price floor at which things might subside.

Analysts said the next area to look at is 1656, which is the average price the index has had over the last 50 days, which is just about, where it ended at 1655.83 at Friday’s 4:00 pm bell.