NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are tumbling for the second consecutive day as the market’s recent downturn gets worse. Indexes in Europe and Asia also skidded. The S&P 500 index is on track for its sixth consecutive loss as investors try to gauge the best place to put their money amid concerns over interest rates and trade and signs of slowing global economic growth.

While health care and bank stocks are doing the worst Thursday, the selling is across the board, even hitting stocks considered to be safe havens. Technology companies and retailers, including longtime market favorites Apple, Alphabet and Amazon, continue to slide. Energy companies fell with oil prices, and even safer bets like utilities and real estate companies sank. After months of declines, gold made its biggest jump in two years.

A surge in bond yields came to an end as investors who sought safety bought government bonds. The market’s current decline was set off by a sharp drop in bond prices and a corresponding increase in yields last week and early this week. But the decline in yields didn’t help stocks Thursday.

And there are lingering concerns about the unresolved trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Strong earnings reports in the upcoming weeks could soothe investor nerves, but any negative comments from company executives about future profits could have the opposite effect.

The benchmark S&P 500 index slipped 55 points, or 2 percent, to 2,729 after it fell 3.3 percent Wednesday. It’s down 6.7 percent in its current losing streak, its worst downturn since a 10-percent drop in early February.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 507 points, or 2 percent, to 25,090, after falling as much as 698. The Nasdaq composite slipped 101 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,320. On Wednesday it suffered its biggest loss in two years. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 22 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1552.

Stocks in Asia and Europe took even steeper losses. France’s CAC 40 and the British FTSE 100 both dropped 1.9 percent and the DAX in Germany lost 1.5 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gave up 3.9 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 3.5 percent. The Kospi in South Korea fell 4.4 percent.

“People are trying to get a sense of ‘where should my money actually be right now?'” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist for TD Ameritrade. Kinahan said investors don’t know what to do because stock prices are skidding, but bond prices have also dropped sharply, which limits the appeal of bonds as an investment.

The S&P 500’s current decline is the longest since a nine-day skid shortly before the 2016 presidential election. It has climbed 28 percent since Donald Trump was elected.

On Thursday, President Trump renewed his criticism of the Federal Reserve, blaming the recent downturn in the stock market on the Fed’s rate policy.

“We have interest rates going up at a clip that’s much faster than certainly a lot of people, including myself, would have anticipated. I think the Fed is out of control,” the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

      

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Stocks plunge again on wide selling; Dow down as much as 698

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