US markets extend losses as historic rally falters
The S&P 500 sank more than 2.4%, unable to add to a 5% surge that was the biggest since March 2009
New York/London: Volatility returned to US markets, with stocks tumbling back toward a bear market after the biggest rally in nearly a decade evaporates. The dollar gave up some of the previous session’s advances. Oil slipped below $46 a barrel.
The S&P 500 sank more than 2.4%, unable to add to a 5% surge that was the biggest since March 2009. Technology and consumer shares that led the gain were among the biggest decliners Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 500 points, after its first 1,000 point gain. The Nasdaq 100 slid more than 3%, eroding more than half of its 6% surge.
“After a day like yesterday, you’d like to say, ’Oh, that’s it. That kind of a move, that’s got to be the bottom.’ But you know what?” Michael Antonelli, equity sales trader at Robert W. Baird, said on Bloomberg TV. “We just don’t know yet.”
Trading slowed with volume on the S&P 500 about 13% below the 30-day average.
The S&P 500 is careening toward its worst month of the record bull run and is down nearly 17% in the quarter as everything from higher interest rates to political turmoil in Washington to concern about global growth hammer at investor sentiment. Havens came back in vogue, with Treasury 10-year yields slipping below 2.8%, and gold climbing with the yen.
The euphoria of equity investors evaporated from Wednesday, when investors cheered a reminder of the American consumer’s strength and got reassurance on the tenure of the Federal Reserve chief and progress on US-China trade talks. While there was no obvious catalyst for the return to selling that took stocks within a whisker of a bear market, the violence of yesterday’s rally made it difficult to sustain. The Cboe Volatility Index jumped to 33.
Elsewhere, WTI crude oil prices gave up a slice of the more than 8% gain from the previous day. Losses in utility companies and carmakers dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 Index into the red. Asian shares were mixed, though Tokyo’s Topix Index posted the biggest advance in two years.
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