S&P Logs 4-Day Loss on Global Growth Fears
Stocks finished near session lows Wednesday, with the Dow logging another triple-digit loss, pressured by a tepid start to earnings season and worries over the sluggish global economic growth.
With the recent pullback, all three major indexes are now in negative territory for October.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 128.56 points, or 0.95 percent, to close at 13,344.97, led by Chevron and Alcoa
The S&P 500 declined 8.92 points, or 0.62 percent, to end at 1,432.56. The Nasdaq fell 13.24 points, or 0.43 percent, to finish at 3,051.78. Both the S&P and Nasdaq fell for the fourth-straight session.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended near 16.
Most key S&P sectors finished in the red, led by energy and materials.
The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Bookreportnoted "widespread improvement" in housing which has helped increase economic activity since August. Manufacturing conditions were mixed but "somewhat improved" since the prior report.
European shares closed loweras worries about the region’s debt crisis undermined investor sentiment.
The IMF said that inaction in the euro zone exposed the region to “capital flight, breakup fears and economic decline.” It also said European banks could shed $2.8 trillion in assetsover the next two years to reduce their risk exposure.
“There’s no question that global growth is slowing and the tone of the earnings season is that corporate results are going to be down,” said John Fox, co-manager of the FAM Value Fund. “But there is a tug of war in the markets because of the central bank moves around the world are lifting stocks.”
“Longer-term, the world is going to continue to grow,” said Fox. “If we get some bargains on pullbacks, we’d take advantage of it.”
JPMorgan CEO Jaime Dimon told the Council on Foreign Relations that he remains bullish on the U.S. economybut said policymakers need to address the country's fiscal problems.
Dow component Alcoa posted earnings and revenue that beat expectations, but shares dropped after the aluminum producer's CEO said he sees a slight slowdown in demand growth due to weakening in China and Europe.
Chevron also slumped after the oil giant reported in its interim report that third-quarter earnings are expected "substantially lower" than in the previous quarter. The company is scheduled to post results on November 2. Other oil companies such as Valero and ExxonMobil also traded lower.
Yum Brands soared to lead the S&P 500 gainers after the parent company of Pizza Hut and KFC edged past expectations and raised its full-year earnings growth forecast. Rival McDonald's also edged higher.
Costco gained after the warehouse retailer topped earnings and revenue expectationsand announced same-store sales rose by 5 percent from a year earlier.
Zynga tumbled after the social game services provider's stock was downgraded to "neutral" from "overweight" by Piper Jaffray. Last week, the company cut its outlook for the full year. Facebook also traded lower.
FedEx advanced after the package-delivery company said it plans to sharply reduce costsat its underperforming express air freight and services divisions. Last month, the company lowered its 2013 profit forecast citing a weaker economy.
Apple closed higher, snapping a four-day losing streak. The iPhone maker entered correction territory in the previous session, falling 10 percent from its intraday high. (Read More: Apple's Stock Is Down 10%—Time to Buy?)
True Religion surged after the jeans maker said it has formed a special committee of its board of directors to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives including a possible sale.
In other economic news, wholesale inventories rose in August, as expected, while sales at wholesalers posted the first gain in four months, according to the Commerce Department.
Weekly mortgage applications fell last weekas demand for refinancing slightly but purchase applications rose to their highest levels since June, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
THURSDAY: International trade, jobless claims, import/export prices, oil inventories, 30-yr bond auction
FRIDAY: PPI, consumer sentiment, GM resumes Volt production; Earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo
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