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US: Stocks tumble again as global growth fears weigh


[NEW YORK] US stocks finished sharply lower again Monday as worries about global growth weighed on the market a day ahead of major company earnings releases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 223.03 (1.35 per cent) to 16,321.07.

The broad-based S&P 500 sank 31.39 (1.65 per cent) to 1,874.74, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 62.58 (1.46 per cent) to 4,213.66.

After choppy trade earlier, Wall Street stocks turned decisively negative in the last hour or so of the session.

The decline was "follow-through selling from last week," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"It's a continuation of concerns about global growth." US stocks suffered a massive sell-off last week, with the S&P 500 shedding more than three percent on global growth fears and the Dow ending in negative territory for the year.

On Monday, the volatility index, often seen as a measure of anxiety in the market, finished at 24.64, the highest level since June 2012.

Third-quarter earnings season picks up considerably Tuesday with reports from Dow members JPMorgan Chase and Johnson & Johnson, as well as big banks Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Reports later in the week are due from Intel and Google.

Investors are watching for commentary from multinationals on whether they see weakening conditions overseas will hit fourth-quarter results, Hogan said.

Airline stocks suffered another bad day in the wake of the second confirmed diagnosis of Ebola infection in the United States. American Airlines dropped 7.2 per cent, Delta Air Lines fell 6.1 percent and United Airlines lost 7.3 per cent.

Petroleum stocks lost ground as US crude prices fell to their lowest level since December 2012. Dow member Chevron fell 1.6 per cent, ConocoPhillips lost 3.3 per cent and Anadarko Petroleum declined 3.5 per cent.

The US bond market was closed in observance of Columbus Day. - AFP