Stocks selloff deepens, Dow sheds 500 points

WEDNESDAY’S SELLOFF in U.S. equity markets continue a recent trend, as rising interest rates and continuing trade spats injected uncertainty into world markets. / BLOOMBERGE NEWS PHOTO/MICHAEL NAGLE

NEW YORK – A risk-off tone gripped financial markets, with the rise in Treasury yields and fresh concerns over the trade war with China sending U.S. stocks tumbling by the most since June. The yen rose on demand for haven assets.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell to a seven-week low, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has plunged more than 600 points and the Nasdaq 100 Index tumbled nearly 3 percent in a broad selloff in U.S. equities by mid-afternoon. Boeing and Caterpillar dropped at least 2.3 percent, while computer companies dragged the broader measure to its longest slide since Donald Trump’s election win.

Fastenal Co. added to angst that the trade war with China is raising materials costs that will crimp profit margins. Estee Lauder and Tiffany led losses after French luxury goods maker LVMH confirmed China is enforcing customs rules more strictly as trade tensions remain high. The Cboe Volatility Index hit the highest since June. Oil fell from $75 a barrel even as a major hurricane headed for the Florida Panhandle.

“The biggest thing going on in markets is you’re seeing an unwind,” Sameer Samana, a global quantitative and technical strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said by phone. “You had stocks doing really well, rates for the most part were very well-behaved. When you’ve got these risk-off moments, especially when you’re later in the cycle, there is some concern on the part of investors where it’s like, ‘Is this the beginning of the end?’ ”

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Caution remains the key word across global markets as investors try to gauge whether the recent selloff has room to

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