(NEW YORK) — U.S. stocks are plunging toward their worst loss in six months on Wednesday as technology companies continue to take sharp losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 700 points in afternoon trading.
The losses were widespread as bond yields remained high after steep increases last week. Companies that have been the biggest winners on the market the last few years, including technology companies and retailers, suffered steep declines.
The S&P 500 index sank 73 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2,807 as of 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. It’s on track for its fifth straight drop, which hasn’t happened since right before the 2016 presidential election. Nasdaq composite, which has a high concentration of technology stocks, tumbled 244 points, or 3.2 percent, to 7,495. It’s fallen 6.3 percent over the last five days.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 738 points, or 2.8 percent, to 25,686. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 37 points, or 2.3 percent, to 1,584.
Microsoft dropped 4 percent to $107.82. Amazon skidded 4.8 percent to $1,781.21. Industrial and internet companies also fell hard. Boeing lost 4 percent to $370.04 and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, gave up 3.2 percent to $1,109.08.
After a long stretch of relative calm, the stock market has suffered sharp losses over the last week as bond yields surged.
Gina Martin Adams, the chief equity strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence, said investors are concerned about the big increase in yields, which makes it more expensive to borrow money. She said they also fear that company profit margins will be squeezed by rising costs, including the price of oil.
Paint and coatings maker PPG gave a weak third-quarter forecast Monday, while earlier, Pepsi and Conagra’s quarterly reports reflected increased expenses.
“Both companies highlighted rising costs, not only input costs but