Wall St. slides on Fed plans; Nasdaq flirts with bear territory
By April Joyner NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slid on Thursday, with the Nasdaq on the cusp of confirming bear market territory, as the Federal Reserve's plan to continue its balance sheet reduction and the threat of a partial government shutdown fuelled investor anxieties.
By April Joyner
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slid on Thursday, with the Nasdaq on the cusp of confirming bear market territory, as the Federal Reserve's plan to continue its balance sheet reduction and the threat of a partial government shutdown fuelled investor anxieties.
At its session low, the Nasdaq had tumbled 2.85 percent, pushing the tech-heavy index more than 20 percent below its Aug. 29 closing high. The index, along with the Dow and the benchmark S&P 500, pared losses as the session continued. The Nasdaq ended down 19.5 percent from its closing high, just shy of confirming a bear market.
The Fed's move on Wednesday to largely adhere to its plan for more rate hikes over the next two years and keep its balance sheet reduction plan on "autopilot" spooked investors already worried about slowing economic growth.
"This is primarily just a follow-through from yesterday's selling," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. "The market is just upset about the whole aspect of balance sheet normalization."
Adding to the gloom was the possibility of a partial U.S. government shutdown on Friday. President Donald Trump told Republican congressional leaders he will not sign a government funding bill because it fails to include enough funding for border security.
"For 2019, I suspected there was going to be antagonism between the House (of Representatives) and the White House," said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago. "This is only a partial government shutdown, but if (Trump) is going to be obstinate, that's not a good sign for next year."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 464.06 points, or 1.99 percent, to 22,859.6, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 39.54 points, or 1.58 percent, to 2,467.42 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 108.42 points, or 1.63 percent, to 6,528.41.
Of the S&P's 11 major sectors, only utilities <.SPLRCU> ended in positive territory. Energy stocks <.SPNY> slid 2.8 percent as oil prices dropped to their lowest levels in a year.
Technology <.SPLRCT> and consumer discretionary <.SPLRCD> stocks - among the top contributors to Wall Street's gains in the past few years - registered heavy declines.
Gloomy corporate results and forecasts also weighed on U.S. stocks.
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc
Also declining as a result of disappointing corporate earnings forecasts were shares of Accenture Plc
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.97-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.41-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and 175 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded three new highs and 858 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 12.02 billion shares, compared with the 8.37 billion-share average over the last 20 trading days.
(Reporting by April Joyner; additional reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Jonathan Oatis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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