U.S. stocks closed out a difficult week on a modestly lower note Friday as investors continued to monitor Britain’s frenzied debate on whether to leave the European Union. The debate took on a new level of concern after the killing of a member of Parliament.
Technology stocks were among the biggest decliners. Apple fell as a patent dispute in China threatened to jeopardize futures sales of iPhones in the world’s second-largest economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 57.94, or 0.33 percent, to 17,675.16.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 6.77, or 0.33 percent, to 2,071.22.
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The Nasdaq composite fell 44.58, or 0.92 percent, to 4,800.34.
Anxiety over the British referendum next Thursday continued to dominate trading. Stocks have fallen six out of the past seven trading days. This week, the Dow and S&P 500 each lost 1 percent, while the Nasdaq gave up almost 2 percent.
The campaigning in Britain became heated this week and took an alarming turn when a well-regarded politician in favor of staying in the EU was killed. Polls have been tight or have shown on occasion a slight likelihood that Britain could leave the EU. Many have predicted that could harm the British economy.
Investors interpreted the killing as something that could sway more voters to stay in the EU. United Kingdom and European stocks and the British pound rose against the euro and dollar. The pound rose to $1.4375, compared with $1.4205 the day before.