January 8, 2016 / 9:09 PM / 3 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. stocks weekly: Gimme shelter

** S&P 500 index off to its worst start ever with a 6-pct fall as China’s market instability and tumbling crude too much to bear

** Materials sector biggest loser, down 7.8 pct, with Freeport McMoran and Alcoa leading drop on China demand concerns

** Financials next worst as slowing global growth weighs on major banks. S&P Banks index drops 9.5 pct

** Energy continues its downward spiral with oil prices plummeting to more than 10-yr low

** In tech, Apple slumps below century mark for first time since Aug, while a legion of research analysts remain loyal

** Even 2015 darling Consumer Discretionary loses 5.9 pct as AutoNation’s warning drags sector lower. BorgWarner, General Motors and Ford each drop more than 10 pct

** And Chipotle still battles with food safety issues

** In Healthcare, Nasdaq Biotechnology Index posts a 10.7-pct loss as a dozen biotechs raise $1.5 bln of capital ahead of the JP Morgan conference. Co’s endure plenty of pain in process with the average deal pricing at a 20-pct file-to-offer discount

** Utilities sector leads, though off marginally, and Staples and Telecoms relatively outperform as investors seek havens

** 2016 sector performance for the S&P500 : reut.rs/1k6B7QQ (RM: lance.tupper.tr.com@reuters.net)

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