Stocks in the U.S. slumped at the end of the week, including a dive of 318 points for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as traders caved in to worries about global stability and the health of various economies. Many major markets in Europe and Asia also closed lower.
Concerns about weak growth in China — a critical market for Western trade — melded with currency drops in countries such as Turkey, prompting investors to flee from stocks, which are viewed as riskier than bonds or gold. The S&P 500, a broad measure of the American market, lost 2.1% to 1,790 Friday, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 2.2% to 4,128. On both the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange, about 85% of all stocks declined.
Among the Dow’s 30 members, only three escaped the session with gains — Merck (MRK), Microsoft (MSFT) and Procter & Gamble (PG). General Electric (GE), 3M (MMM) and Boeing (BA) were three of the hardest hit, each falling around 3%. The last time the Dow had a single day that was worse came on June 20, when it gave up 354 points, FactSet data show. On Thursday the index skidded 176 points, so its two-day loss is now 494 points, taking it to 15,879.
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