Dow Jones crashes near 600 points as global market unease persists

Dow Jones crashes near 600 points as global market unease persists

Dow Jones crashes near 600 points as global market unease persists

The double-digit percentage stock decline has occurred even though Wall Street stresses that the health of the economy, labor market and US businesses remain strong.

The losses, which began last Friday, put the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index nearly 8 percent below the record high it set two weeks ago. US crude oil fell 1.2 percent to settle at $63.39 a barrel, while Brent dropped 1.1% to settle at $66.86. European indexes were down about 2 percent, while Japan's Nikkei lost 4.7 percent. The Nasdaq was down 125 points, or 1.8 percent, to 6,651. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5 percent and the Hang Seng of Hong Kong rose 0.4 percent.

US stocks moved away from early losses to trade higher on Wednesday as investors returned to a market still cautious from the Dow Jones Industrial Average's historic decline earlier this week.

All three major indexes suffered sharp losses during a trading session fraught with wild swings.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1,032.89 points, or 4.1 per cent, to 23,860.46.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) moments before the Closing Bell on February 8, 2018 in New York City.

Despite the turbulence, Tuesday's trading looked similar to the patterns that have shaped the market for the previous year: Investors bought companies that do well when economic growth is strongest.

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Some companies rose after reporting quarterly results and outlooks that beat Wall Street's forecasts.

Fears about inflation and soaring bond yields sent the Dow plunging 6.5% through the first four trading days of this week.

Stock trading turned volatile over the last several days, breaking an unusually long period of calm.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 264.97 points, or 1.73 per cent, to 15,065.61, in a broad-based decline.

Consider this: The S&P 500 has risen or fallen 1 percent five times in the past two weeks.

The Dow briefly sank 500 points in afternoon trading after surging more than 349 points earlier in the day.

The S&P 500 last confirmed a correction in January 2016, when it fell 13.3 per cent amid concerns. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rallied into positive territory. That's less than the 10 percent drop that is known on Wall Street as a "correction".

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"I'd like to see buying come in late in the day instead of having a selloff like we had yesterday", he said.

Strategists led by James Barty at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote Wednesday that, "In our view markets had gone too far too fast two weeks ago and the correction is merely an unwind of very overbought conditions".

Investors fear that low unemployment, increasing USA growth and rising wages will spur the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, which would boost the cost of borrowing money.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar, one of the worst performing currencies in the offshore session, is under 78 United States cents, and below 85 yen.

For the second time this week, the Dow plunged more than 1,000 points. Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, rose 54 cents to $67.40 a barrel in London.

The dollar fell to 108.84 yen from 109.42 yen.

In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline remained at $1.77 a gallon.

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