Global markets in sell-off mode

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As of Thursday, the S&P 500 index had plunged 7.5 per cent in about three weeks, with two separate six-day losing streaks. That's just shy of what Wall Street calls a "correction", or a drop of 10 percent or more from a peak.

The Russell 2000 lost 58.22 points, or 3.8 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 296.24 points, or 1.19%, to 24,688.31, the S&P 500 erased 47 points, or 1.74%, to 2,658.57 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 151.12 points, or 2.07%, to 7,167.21. It was down as much as 539 earlier.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.63% into correction territory as a broad sell-off pummeled the index, with chipmakers among the biggest losers. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors sought out less risky assets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 300 points Friday, or 1.4 percent, putting it in the red for the year again.

The Cboe Volatility Index, the most widely followed gauge of expected near-term gyrations for the S&P 500, finished little changed at 24.16.

So-called FANG stocks and other tech shares sank in extended trade on Thursday following disappointing quarterly reports from Inc (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O). Media and communications stocks, health care companies and banks also took heavy losses.

The Dow tumbled 2.4 per cent to 24,583.42.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.38-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 5.42-to-1 ratio favored decliners. The spiral has already erased this year's record gains on U.S. markets.

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That is because it is now more than 10% below its August peak.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.7 per cent to $66.88 a barrel in NY. It was up 512 minutes earlier.

The Nasdaq slid 281.81 points, or 3.8 percent.

On today the stock market looked the way it has looked for most of this year: high-tech and consumer-focused companies lead the way while steadier, defensive stocks that pay big dividends weren't doing much, or lost ground.

REVENUE MISSES: Amazon and Google parent company Alphabet slumped after both companies reported quarterly reported revenue figures that fell short of analysts' estimates.

United Parcel Service slid 5.5 per cent to USD 107.93 after the shipping company reported weak global revenue, while the strong dollar and high fuel prices also hurt its results.

CHIPPER RESULTS: Chipmaker Intel was a bright spot, gaining 2.6 percent to $45.48 after reporting strong quarterly results. Heating oil added 1.2 percent to $2.28 a gallon and natural gas gained 1.1 percent to $3.20 per 1,000 cubic feet. The Dow Jones lost nearly 300 points (about 296 points) or around 1.19% to end the day with the bear dogging their heels.

Investors moved to the relative safety of USA government bonds, which move inversely to yields, withthe 10-year falling 3.9 basis points to 3.077%, its lowest level in three weeks.

"The ability to repeat what we had this year is not going to happen", said Terry DuFrene, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.