NEW YORK – Stocks plunged again on Wall Street on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average giving up 4.15 percent in another day of tremendous volatility, although trading started off rather calmly.
At the close of the trading session, the Dow – the main US stock market indicator – had fallen 1,032.89 points to 23,860.46, its second-worst down day in history, overshadowed only by Monday’s plummet of 1,175 points.
Meanwhile, the S&P500 dropped 3.75 percent, or 100.66 points, to 2,581, and the tech heavy NASDAQ Index, retreated 3.90 percent, or 274.82 points, to 6,777.16.
The Dow accelerated its plunge into negative territory during the final minutes of trading, ending up near its low of the day and more than 10 percent below its recent record high, thus putting the market in correction territory, while during the course of the day it fluctuated over a 1,054-point range.
The Dow had closed slightly in the red on Wednesday at 24,893.35 points, although the low point this week was hit on Tuesday, when the benchmark indicator touched 23,778.74, after peaking on Jan. 26 at above 26,616.
Investors seemingly did not take into account positive economic data that came out on Thursday, with weekly unemployment numbers falling last week by 9,000 cases and winding up at the lowest level in 45 years.
All the market sectors ended up in the red, led by technology (down 3.92 percent), industrials (-3.52 percent), finance (-3.48 percent), cyclical consumer goods (-3.37 percent) and health (-3.14 percent).
Dow components had a bad day, many of them off more than 5 percent, such as American Express (-5,61 percent), Intel (-5,42 percent), Caterpillar (-5,41 percent), Home Depot (-5,27 percent), General Electric (-5,18 percent), Microsoft (-5,13 percent) and Travelers (-5,03 percent).
JP Morgan Chase retreated 4.42 percent, while Amazon was down 4.68 percent and Facebook was off 4.77 percent, although Twitter soared 12.15 percent after announcing its first quarterly earnings profit in history.
West Texas crude was down 1.04 percent at $61.15 per barrel and gold rose to $1,320.40 per ounce.