Stocks go on a wild ride, Dow closes down more than 1,100 points - WSMV News 4

Stocks go on a wild ride, Dow closes down more than 1,100 points

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NEW YORK CITY (AP) -

By MARLEY JAY
AP Markets Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - The Dow Jones industrial average closed down a record 1,178 points on Monday.

The Dow plunged as much as 1,500 points, erasing its gain for the year, as the market extends a slump that began Friday.

The Dow's point loss would be its biggest of all time, though in percentage terms, its 5.6 percent decline wasn't as big as its worst drop during the financial crisis.

The slide Monday brought the Dow back below 24,000 points.

The market's slump began on Friday as investors worried that creeping signs of higher inflation and interest rates could derail the market's record-setting rally.

The Dow skidded as much as 1,500 points, before recovering some of its losses. It was down 872, or 3.4 percent, to 24,651.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 74 points, or 2.7 percent, to 2,686.

The S&P 500 is now down 6.7 percent from its latest record high, set January 26. Investors are worried about evidence of rising inflation in the U.S. Increased inflation might push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more quickly, which could slow down economic growth by making it make it more expensive for people and businesses to borrow money. And bond yields haven't been this high in years. That's making bonds more appealing to investors compared with stocks.

The stock market has been unusually calm for more than a year. The combination of economic growth in the U.S. and other major economies, low interest rates, and support from central banks meant stocks could keep rising steadily without a lot of bumps along the way. Experts have been warning that that wouldn't last forever.

David Kelly, the chief global strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management, said the signs of inflation and rising rates are not as bad as they looked, but after the market's big gains in 2017 and early 2018, stocks were overdue for a drop.

"It's like a kid at a child's party who, after an afternoon of cake and ice cream, eats one more cookie and that puts them over the edge," he said.

As bad as Monday's drop is, the market saw worse days during the financial crisis. The Dow's 777-point plunge in September 2008 was equivalent to 7 percent, about twice as big as Monday's decline.

Stocks haven't suffered a 5 percent drop since the two days after Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. They recovered those losses within days.

The market hasn't gone through a 10 percent drop since early 2016, when oil prices were plunging as investors worried about a drop in global growth, which could have sharply reduced demand. U.S. crude hit a low of about $26 a barrel in February of that year.

Wells Fargo sank $5.71, or 8.9 percent, to $58.36. Late Friday the Fed said it will freeze Wells Fargo's assets at the level where they stood at the end of last year until it can demonstrate improved internal controls. The San Francisco bank also agreed to remove four directors from its board.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1.30, or 2 percent, to $64.15 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, lost 96 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $67.62 a barrel in London.

Exxon Mobil lost $4.56, or 5.4 percent, to $79.97 and Chevron gave up $5.62, or 4.7 percent, to $112.96. Both companies reported disappointing fourth-quarter results on Friday and are coming off their biggest losses in years.

Bond prices tumbled after moving sharply higher on Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.75 percent from 2.84 percent. That hurt banks by sending interest rates lower, which means banks can't charge as much money for mortgages and other types of loans.

The dollar fell to 109.70 yen from 110.28 yen. The euro slipped to $1.2399 from $1.2451.

Gold declined 80 cents to $1,336.50 an ounce. Silver dipped 4 cents to $16.67 an ounce. Copper rose 3 cents to $3.22 a pound.

Bitcoin prices continued to sink. According to Coindesk, the price of bitcoin fell 15 percent to $6,957. It reached a high of almost $20,000 in December, and traded under $1,000 in early 2017. Many financial pros warn that bitcoin is in a speculative bubble that could burst anytime. On the CME, bitcoin futures plunged 19 percent to $6,975. They tumbled 18 percent to $6,950 on the Cboe.

Stocks in Europe also fell. Leading political parties in Germany, which is the largest economy in Europe, have struggled to form a government. Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats are still in talks about extending their alliance of the past four years.

Britain's FTSE 100 lost 1.5 percent while France's CAC 40 slid 1.5 percent. The DAX in Germany shed 0.8 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.6 percent and the South Korean Kospi shed 1.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index sank 1.1 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jayt

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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