BUSINESS
08/01/2014 04:22 EDT | Updated 10/01/2014 05:59 EDT

U.S. Stock Market Closes Out Worst Week In 2 Years As TSX Slides

Spencer Platt via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 1, 2014 in New York City. Following a huge sell off yesterday, the Dow opened down over 20 points in morning trading. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The U.S. stock market is closing out its worst week in two years.

Traders moved money into investments traditionally seen as having lower risk Friday, such as U.S. government bonds, gold and utility stocks.

Energy stocks fell after Chevron reported weaker oil and gas production.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 69 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 16,493. The Dow has lost 387 points over the past two days. The slump interrupted five months of steady gains.

The Toronto Stock Exchange fared little better this week. The S&P TSX index was down 115 points on Friday, to 15,215.26. It was down 230 points for the week.

Those losses came a day after a slightly larger loss on Thursday, when investors sold off shares in just about everything. Thursday's sell-off was the first time in three months that Canada's benchmark stock index moved by more than a percentage point in one direction or the other.

Every sector was lower, with the exception of IT companies. The technology TSX subindex was up by about half a per cent. The TSX set an all-time high on Wednesday before the sell-off began.

"My view is that the market was looking for any excuse to sell, really," said John Stephenson, president and CEO at Stephenson and Co. Capital Management.

"You have tremendous amounts of cash sitting on the sidelines, at least in "the retail population, and people are just bloody well nervous that they're going to lose their shirt, especially when they look at how far the market has come," Stephenson said.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell five points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,925. The S&P 500 lost 2.7 per cent this week, the biggest loss since June 2012.

The Nasdaq fell 17 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,352.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.49 per cent.

The Huffington Post Canada with files from CBC and the Associated Press