Dow Jones drop adds to losses, weekly gloom for stock investors – USA TODAY

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Bear Market is a term that sends fear into Wall Street and investors. What does it mean? And how does it affect both Wall Street and Main Street? Adam Shell explains.

epa07086825 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, New York, USA, on 11 October 2018. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 550 points today. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE ORG XMIT: JLX21(Photo: JUSTIN LANE, EPA-EFE)

Stocks continued their brutal stretch of big price swings and steep declines Friday, capping a painful week on Wall Street as investors fretted over trade disputes and concerns about slowing economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished the day down 559 points, or 2.2 percent, at 24,389. That left the blue-chip average 4.5 percent lower for the week and 9.1 percent below its October record high.

The sell-off by investors sent another major stock gauge — the Standard & Poor’s 500 index — down 2.3 percent for the day and 10.2 percent from its September peak — pushing it back into “correction” territory, or a drop of more than 10 percent from that September high.

The selling this week picked up after a top Chinese telecommunications executive was arrested, a development that raised fears that the 90-day trade-fight truce between the U.S. and China, which was already facing skepticism from Wall Street, could encounter further challenges.

Investors were also rattled by a signal in the bond market that historically has indicated a potential slowdown in the economy.

Wall Street has also been worried about the impact of rising interest rates on the U.S. economy, as higher borrowing costs slow sales of things like homes and cars, which crimps corporate earnings.

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