Disappointing earnings reports weigh on technology.
Major equity indexes in the USA started the day on the back foot and extended their slide before staging an unimpressive recovery in the second half of the session. That was similar to the scenario in 2017, when the market drifted higher gradually and finished up 19.4 per cent. But Asian markets took big losses, as the USA market did the day earlier.
Overall, the Dow has declined by 7.1 percent in October, S&P by 8.9 percent and the Nasdaq by 11.7 percent.
The Nasdaq dropped almost 2 percent, sharply cutting its gains for the year and moving deeper into correction territory, while the blue-chip Dow shed 1.1 percent and the benchmark S&P fell 1.56 percent, putting under threat their slim gains for the year. It was up 512 earlier. The last S&P 500 correction happened in February. That stretch also included a couple of big rallies, but the losses erased the benchmark index's gains from earlier in the year. Technology companies have plunged, and the Nasdaq composite is coming off its biggest one-day loss in seven years.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 4.4 percent. Shares of the third-most valuable USA company jumped 6.4 percent to $108.82.
Some investors, including David Meier, a portfolio manager at Motley Fool Asset Management, say the sense that stock prices have simply reached their peak is driving the markets, too.
Longtime market favourites like Amazon led the way lower after reporting weak results. But huge companies like Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon.
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Amazon, the second-most valuable United States stock, fell after reporting its financial results.
Boeing (+1.3%) offered the Dow some relief Wednesday after posting third-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations. Other big decliners: Apple slid 2.2 percent to $217.86, while Alphabet fell 4.4 percent to $1,066.22.
TEARS IN TOYLAND: Mattel dropped 3.7 percent to $13.33 as investors reacted to the toy maker's latest quarterly snapshot. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.4 percent and the Kospi in South Korea gave up 0.4 percent. Semiconductor companies, including AMD (-9.7%) and Nvidia (-9.8%), were sharply lower. The internet retailer dropped 4.8 percent in aftermarket trading while Google's parent company lost 3.2 percent. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower as traders sought safe-haven investments.
Benchmark U.S. crude lost 6 cents to $66.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, rose 0.9 percent to $76.89 a barrel.
Wholesale gasoline lost 0.5 percent to $1.81 a gallon. A gain above 3.26% would have been the Nasdaq's best day since August 2015, and the index flirted with that level late in the afternoon before falling just before the close. Silver fell 0.3 percent to $14.63 an ounce. Copper was little changed at $2.76 a pound.
CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 112.51 yen from 112.47 yen on Tuesday.
On Friday, France's CAC 40 index fell 1.3%, while the Dax slipped about 1%.