Dow Jones industrials take second straight 2-percent plunge
Another day of big losses knocked U.S. stocks to their lowest levels in more than a year Monday.
Selling was widespread. Investors dumped high-growth technology and retail companies as well as steadier, high-dividend companies. Hospitals and health insurers slumped after a federal judge in Texas ruled that the 2010 Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 507 points after a 496-point drop Friday, and all the major stock indexes fell at least 2 percent. Oil closed below $50 a barrel for the first time since October 2017. Bonds rose and their yields fell.
Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide Investment Management, attributed Monday’s action in stocks to investor concerns about the slowing global economy. But he felt it was overdone. “That is basically retail investors panicking,” he said. “Investors basically are confusing the idea of a slowdown with a recession.”
Investors sold almost everything. Less than 40 of the 500 stocks comprising the S&P 500 finished the day higher. Amazon led a rout among retailers and tech companies including Microsoft turned sharply lower. Some of the largest losses went to utilities and real-estate companies, which have done better than the rest of the market during the turbulence of the last three months.
The S&P 500 index, the benchmark for many investors and funds, finished at its lowest level since Oct. 9, 2017. It has fallen 13.1 percent since its last record close Sept. 20.