U.S. Stocks Move Sharply Lower On Concerns About Global Economy

Stocks have moved sharply lower in morning trading on Thursday, giving back ground following recent strength. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 pulling back off yesterday’s record closing highs.

In recent trading, the Dow and the S&P 500 have fallen to new lows for the session. The Dow is down 531.23 points or 1.5 percent at 34,150.56, the Nasdaq is down 217.61 points or 1.5 percent at 14,447.45 and the S&P 500 is down 67.46 points or 1.6 percent at 4,290.67.

Concerns about the outlook for the global economy are weighing on Wall Street amid considerable weakness in the overseas markets.

News that Japan has declared a new state of emergency for Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Games has added to worries about the impact of new coronavirus variants.

The U.S. economy has recovered strongly from the pandemic-induced slump, but the rapid spread of variants in other parts of the world has raised concerns about a global slowdown.

Adding to the negative sentiment on Wall Street, the Labor Department released a report showing initial jobless claims unexpectedly inched higher in the week ended July 3rd.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims crept up to 373,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 371,000.

The uptick surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to drop to 350,000 from the 364,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A continued drop in bond yields is weighing on banking stocks, while energy stocks are seeing further downside amid another decrease by the price of crude oil.

Steel stocks have also moved sharply lower amid concerns about the outlook for global demand, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index plunging by 3.9 percent.

Substantial weakness has also emerged among transportation stocks, as reflected by the 3.5 percent nosedive by the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The average has tumbled to its lowest intraday level in over three months.

Housing stocks are also seeing considerable weakness on the day, resulting in a 2.5 percent slump by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.

Brokerage, chemical and computer hardware stocks are also seeing significant weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.8 percent.

The major European markets have shown even more substantial moves to the downside. While the French CAC 40 Index has plunged by 2.5 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 2.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 2.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the notable advance seen over the past several sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.5 basis points at 1.286 percent.

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