Stocks slump again, putting S&P 500 back into red for year

Oct 29, 2018, 06:35
Stocks slump again, putting S&P 500 back into red for year

The Nasdaq experienced its worst day since August 18, 2011, falling 329 points, or 4.4 percent to 7,108, 10 percent from its August 29 all-time high.

The S&P 500 index slid 46.88 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,658.69. The Dow sank 1.7 percent and the S&P 2.3 percent, with the S&P's session low taking it more than 10 percent below its September 20 all-time closing high.

The weak results from Amazon and Google parent Alphabet were the latest setback for the high-growth quartet of stocks known as FANG, which also includes Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O).

For the S&P 500, a 10 percent decline could push the USA index into correction territory. The sell-off turned both the Dow and the S&P 500 negative for the year, with stocks on track for their worst October since the financial crisis.

The Cboe Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term gyrations for the S&P 500, jumped 4.52 points to close at 25.23, its highest close since February 12.

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The Dow's big gain on Thursday erased most of its 606-point swoon from the day before, but the average is still 6.5 percent below the all-time high it reached three weeks ago.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.7 percent to $66.88 a barrel in NY.

In other trading, benchmark USA crude lost 50 cents to Dollars 66.34 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. If the Nasdaq closes down 10 percent or more from its closing high, a level it hit in the session, it would confirm a correction.

The beaten-down S&P technology sector retreated another 4.4 percent. Technology and consumer-focused companies accounted for much of the sell-off.

Toyota Motor Corp. gave up 2.1 percent while Hong Kong-based retail supply chain giant Li & Fung Ltd. lost 2 percent.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 608.01 points, or 2.41 percent, to 24,583.42, the S&P 500 lost 84.59 points, or 3.09 percent, to 2,656.1 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 329.14 points, or 4.43 percent, to 7,108.40.

The weak results had a pronounced effect on US markets. Amazon sank 7.8 percent to $1,642.81 while Alphabet fell 1.8 percent to $1,083.75. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors sought out less risky assets.

HOUSING SKID: The Commerce Department said sales of new US homes plunged 5.5 percent in September, the fourth monthly drop.

Furthermore, the latest figures from the US Commerce Department revealed that new home sales fell to a two-year low - the latest sign that rising mortgage rates and higher property prices were hurting demand.

A bear market is one where stock prices decline at least 20 percent from their recent peak. Brent crude, used to price global oils, slid 0.4 percent to $76.17 a barrel in London.

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"What makes the latest volatility more troubling is that it's been hard to identify one specific cause", Kerry Craig, global markets strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told Bloomberg.