U.S. stocks tumbled on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow marking their biggest daily declines since Feb. 8, and technology stocks were at the center of the carnage as rising U.S. Treasury yields sent investors fleeing from risky assets.
U.S. long-dated Treasury yields rose again in extension of a trend over the last few weeks fueled by solid U.S. economic data that reinforced expectations of multiple interest rate hikes over the next 12 months.
President Donald Trump says the Federal Reserve “has gone crazy” after a major drop in stock prices Wednesday.
Trump, who has been critical of the central bank’s interest rate increases, told reporters after landing in Erie, Pennsylvania, that he thinks “the Fed is making a mistake.”
But he’s also calling the drop “a correction we’ve been waiting for for a long time.”
Investors also worried about the impact of trade tensions on corporate profits and Hurricane Michael’s landfall in Florida adding to the uncertainty.
The Nasdaq registered its biggest daily drop since June 24, 2016, hurt by technology stocks that had their biggest one-day drop since August 2011. The S&P 500 ended the day down 3.3 percent, representing a 4.95 percent drop from its Sept. 20 record closing high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 831.83 points, or 3.15 percent, to 25,598.74, the S&P 500 lost 94.66 points, or 3.29 percent, to 2,785.68 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 315.97 points, or 4.08 percent, to 7,422.05.
The S&P technology sector dropped 4.8 percent, with Apple Inc creating the biggest drag with a 4.6 percent decline.
The communications services, consumer discretionary, energy and industrial sectors all showed declines of more than 3 percent.
The energy sector was one of the biggest losers for much of the day as U.S. oil production was decimated while the industry waited out Hurricane Michael.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 7.27-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 7.05-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
On U.S. exchanges 9.86 billion shares changed hands compared with the 7.42 billion average for the last 20 trading sessions.