U.S. stocks retreated, sending the Standard & Poors 500 Index to its fifth drop in six sessions, as the continuing selloff in oil overshadowed a surge in industrial production and corporate deals.

The S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent to 1,989.43 at 4 p.m. in New York, falling below its average price for the past 50 days. The gauge lost as much as 1 percent today, slipping below its 100-day moving average before paring the decline. It has lost 4.1 percent since closing at a record on Dec. 5.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 105 points today, or 0.6 percent, to 17,175.83. The measure plunged 3.8 percent last week, the biggest drop since November 2011.

The S&P 500 erased an early advance of 0.8 percent today as crude dropped. The benchmark stocks index then fell as much as 1 percent by midday before paring losses. The gauge lost 3.5 percent last week as crude plunged to a five-year low.

More than $1.8 trillion was erased from the value of global equities last week as oil prices tumbled on signs of weakening demand, raising concern over the strength of the global economy.

Source : Bloomberg