NEW YORK — Stocks fell Friday, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest weekly decline in 2012, as consumer confidence dropped, China’s growth slowed and the cost of insuring against a Spanish default rose to a record.
The S&P 500 slid 1.3 percent, extending its weekly decline to 2 percent. It fell a second week for the longest losing streak since November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1 percent. About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, or 9 percent below the three-month average.
“Let’s not get overly concerned, but yes, there are concerns out there that we need to look at,” Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at San Francisco-based Charles Schwab, said in a telephone interview. “China has been disappointing, U.S. consumer confidence adds to the pressure and Europe is not out of the woods yet.”
Stocks fell as confidence among U.S. consumers cooled in April from a one-year high. China’s growth slowed to the least in almost three years. Credit-default swaps on Spain surged as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggles to prevent the nation from becoming the fourth euro-region member to need a bailout.
Friday’s decline in stocks follows the biggest two-day rally in 2012. The S&P 500, which had the best first-quarter since 1998, was still up 9 percent this year as investors bought stocks amid better-than-estimated economic data.