US stocks struggle to stabilize after entering 'correction'

Associated Press

Stocks struggled to stabilize today as investors sent prices climbing, then slumping in unsteady trading a day after the market entered its first correction in two years.

The up-and-down swings followed a drop of 10 percent from the latest record highs set by major U.S. indexes just two weeks ago.

The Dow Jones industrial average slumped nearly 300 points in midday trading after surging more than 349 points earlier in the day. The blue chip average suffered its second 1,000-point drop in a week Thursday.

Other major indexes also veered lower, piling up losses from the weeklong sell-off that has pummeled stocks. The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark for many index funds, was on pace to finish its worst week since January 2016.

"When you have an early morning rally in a decline of this nature, all that does is invite selling," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. "That's what we saw yesterday, and we know where that ended up."

The S&P 500 fell 20 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,560 as of 12:13 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow tumbled 262 points, or 1.1 percent, to 23,597. The Nasdaq composite slid 60 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,716.

Losses in restaurant chains, cruise lines, department stores and other consumer-focused companies accounted for much of the market's decline. Industrial and energy companies also posted steep losses that outweighed modest gains in technology stocks and other sectors. Oil prices were also headed sharply lower.

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