Markets sink; loss biggest in 8 months

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks plunged to their worst loss in eight months Wednesday as technology companies continued to drop. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 831 points.

The losses were widespread, and stocks that have been the biggest winners on the market the past few years, including technology companies and retailers, suffered steep declines. Apple and Amazon had their worst day in 2½ years.

The Nasdaq composite, which has a high concentration of technology companies, had its biggest loss in more than two years.

Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell, said investors fear that rising interest rates and growing expenses will erode company profits next year.

“The tax cuts juiced earnings this year, and that’s not sustainable,” he said. “The market’s starting to say that the glass may be half empty.”

The S&P 500 index sank 94.66 points, or 3.3 percent, to 2,785.68. The benchmark index fell for the fifth-straight day, which hadn’t happened since just before the 2016 presidential election.

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The Nasdaq composite tumbled 315.97 points, or 4.1 percent, to 7,422.05. It’s fallen 7.5 percent in just five days.

The Dow gave up 831.83 points, or 3.1 percent, to 25,598.74. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 46.45 points, or 2.9 percent, to 1,575.41.

After a long stretch of relative calm, the stock market has suffered sharp losses over the past week as bond yields surged. Stocks had come close to big drops in the past few days, but each time they recovered some of their losses. That didn’t happen Wednesday as stocks fell further late in the day.

Apple shares fell 4.6 percent to $216.36 and Microsoft dropped 5.4 percent to $106.16. Amazon skidded 6.2 percent to $1,755.25. Industrial and Internet companies also fell hard. Boeing shares fell

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