Plunge follows warning sign of recession

The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore for investors in financial markets.

The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury fell so low Wednesday that, for the first time since 2007, it briefly crossed a threshold that has correctly predicted many past recessions. Weak economic data from Germany and China also fanned fears of a global slowdown.

That spooked investors, who responded by dumping stocks, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average into an 800-point skid, its biggest drop of the year. The S&P 500 index dropped nearly 3 percent as the market erased all of its gains from a rally the day before. Tech stocks and banks led the broad sell-off. Retailers came under especially heavy selling pressure after Macy’s issued a dismal earnings report and cut its full-year forecast.

Investors have been plowing money into the safety of U.S. government bonds for months amid growing anxiety that weakness in the global economy could sap growth in the U.S. Uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. trade war with China has spurred a return of volatility to the stock market in August — the Dow has dropped more than 5 percent and the S&P 500 is down more than 4 percent.

Specialist Mario Picone works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 800 points after the bond market flashed a warning sign about a possible recession for the first time since 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Specialist Mario Picone works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 800 points after the bond market flashed a warning sign about a possible recession for the first time since 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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