Stocks have moved sharply lower during trading on Wednesday, giving back ground following the strong upward move seen in the previous session.
The major averages have seen further downside in recent trading, falling to new lows for the session. The Dow is down 721.75 points or 2.2 percent at 31,932.84, the Nasdaq is down 366.49 points or 3.1 percent at 11,618.03 and the S&P 500 is down 108.34 points or 2.7 percent at 3,980.51.
Retail stocks have helped lead the markets lower on the day, with the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index plunging by 6.5 percent to its lowest intraday level in almost two years.
Target (TGT) is posting a particularly steep loss after the discount retailer reported quarterly earnings that missed analyst estimates.
Substantial weakness is also visible among transportation stocks, as reflected by the 5.4 percent nosedive by the Dow Jones Transportation Average.
Housing stocks are also seeing significant weakness on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 3.5 percent.
Computer hardware, oil service and semiconductor stocks have also shown notable moves to the downside amid broad based weakness on Wall Street.
On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Commerce Department showed a modest decrease in new residential construction in the month of April.
The Commerce Department said housing starts edged down by 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.724 million from a revised rate of 1.728 million in March.
The slight drop in housing starts came as single-family housing starts plunged by 7.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.100 million.
Meanwhile, the report showed building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, tumbled by 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.819 million from a revised rate of 1.879 million in March.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has tumbled by 1.4 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.7 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have shown a notable turnaround after an initial move lower. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.3 basis points at 2.915 percent.
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