Dow Drops 832 Points Because Everyone Is Afraid of Something

Michael Haddad

4 p.m. It’s ugly out there.

The S&P 500 dropped 94.66 points, or 3.29%, to 2785.68, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 831.83 points, or 3.15%, to 25598.74. The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 315.97 points, or 4.08%, to 7422.05, its largest one-day percentage decline since June 24, 2016.

If you pay attention to the headlines, the weakness appears to be driven by the ratcheting up of tensions between the U.S. and China. But the major market indexes tell a more complicated story. The S&P 500 Information Technology Sector Index has dropped 4.8%, making it the hardest hit sector in the benchmark, and continuing a recent trend. (It means that health care has pulled ahead of tech in terms of 2018 performance.)

It isn’t just tech, though, as all the FAANGs got walloped despite being in three different sectors now. Apple (AAPL) declined 4.6% to $216.36, Facebook (FB) fell 4.2% to $151.38, Netflix (NFLX) slumped 8.3% to $325.89, Amazon.com (AMZN) dropped 6.2% to $1,748.01, and Alphabet (GOOGL) is off 4.6% at $1,090.89.

But even some sectors that could be benefiting are getting hit. The S&P 500 Industrials Sector Index has slumped 3.5%, implying that investors are concerned about growth. The S&P 500 Utilities Index ended down 0.5% but managed to spend much of the day in positive territory, a sign that investors are just plain scared.

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“The bottom line is that among the sector bifurcation, the Small Cap unwind, the surge in rates and the spiking U.S. Dollar (all of which we’ve touched on lately), there is plenty to push the ‘market’ around,” writes Instinet’s Frank Cappelleri.

Let’s just call it a mess.

Write to Ben Levisohn at [email protected]

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