U.S. stocks dive again; Dow drops an­other 545

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Mar­ley Jay

U.S. stocks sank more than 2 per­cent Thurs­day, the sec­ond day of steep de­clines around the globe driven by con­cerns about ris­ing in­ter­est rates and trade ten­sions.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Aver­age dropped 546 points af­ter drop­ping 831 points Wed­nes­day. The two-day loss of 5.3 per­cent is the big­gest for Dow since Fe­bru­ary. The S&P 500 is also down more than 5 per­cent over the two days and had de­clined for six straight days.

The sell­ing was widespread. En­ergy com­pa­nies sank along with oil prices and CVS lead a rout in health care stocks. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies and re­tail­ers, in­clud­ing long­time mar­ket fa­vorites Ap­ple, Al­pha­bet and Ama­zon, ex­tended their re­cent slide.

Seek­ing safety, in­vestors bought gold and gov­ern­ment bonds. That pushed prices up and yields down, end­ing a surge in yields that had touched off the mar­ket’s cur­rent de­cline. But in­vestors found more things to worry about.

There are on­go­ing con­cerns about the un­re­solved trade dis­pute be­tween the U.S. and China. Strong earn­ings re­ports in the com­ing weeks could soothe in­vestor nerves, but neg­a­tive com­ments from com­pany ex­ec­u­tives about fu­ture prof­its could have the op­po­site ef­fect. Re­cently a larger-than-nor­mal num­ber of com­pa­nies have warned that their third-quar­ter re­sults could be weaker than an­a­lysts ex­pected.

The bench­mark S&P 500 in­dex rose in morn­ing trad­ing, but ul­ti­mately gave up 57.31 points, or 2.1 per­cent, to 2,728.37, its low­est close in three months. The in­dex fell 3.3 per­cent Wed­nes­day and has de­clined 6.7 per­cent dur­ing its cur­rent los­ing streak. That’s its steep­est down­turn since a 10-per­cent drop in early Fe­bru­ary.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Aver­age lost 545.91 points, or 2.1 per­cent, to 25,052.83 af­ter fall­ing as much as 698. The Nas­daq

com­pos­ite skid­ded 92.99

points, or 1.3 per­cent, to 7,329.06. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of small­er­com­pany stocks fell 30.03 points, or 1.9 per­cent, to 1,545.38.

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