U.S. stocks plunged Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average recording its largest single-day point drop since February. Big tech stocks helped fuel the selling as investors weigh the threat of rising U.S. treasury yields and global trade spats.
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The Dow tumbled 831.83 points, or 3.15 percent, to 25,598.74. The S&P 500 fell 94.66 points, about 3.3 percent, to 2,786.26. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 315.97 points, or 4.08 percent, to 7,422.05.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq and the Russell 2000, a snapshot of domestic companies, are both on pace for the worst start to a fourth quarter since 2008, same for the S&P 500 and the Dow, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data.
The Nasdaq slid to a 3-month low led by names including Amazon, which dipped into correction territory with shares falling more than 10 percent from their record closing high on Sept. 4. Apple, Microsoft and Facebook also were down on the day.
The scope and speed of the session’s fall appeared to have seriously rattled experienced investors: The CBOE VIX Index, a closely watched measure of investor anxiety that is sometimes called the “fear gauge,” jumped more than 25 percent to its highest level since April 11.
A combination of threats drove the sell-off. The International Monetary Fund earlier this week cut its outlook for growth in the global economy to 3.7 percent from 3.9 percent, partly because of worsening trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The intensifying clash between Italy’s new government and the