October 11, 2018

Dow set to fall another 350 points at the open

The bloodletting on the stock market continued Thursday.

Dow futures tumbled, pointing to an 350-point decline at the open. The broader S&P 500 index was set to open 1% lower and Nasdaq futures suggested a 1.1% decline.

The Nasdaq in particular has gotten rocked in recent days. Investors have bolted from the index, which contains many tech stocks, because they are concerned about holding some of the market's riskiest stocks in a downturn. A proxy for the tech sector had its sharpest plunge in seven years on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 was on pace for its sixth-straight decline, and the Nasdaq has already fallen 8% this month.

Stocks have turned sharply south because investors are increasingly concerned about rising interest rates. As the Federal Reserve raises rates, investors have been getting out of bonds, driving down their price and driving up their yields. Suddenly, the return on bonds has become competitive with some stocks --- particularly risky tech stocks.

Rising interest rates also increase companies' borrowing costs, which eats into profits. America's increasing debt load, a trade war with China and a slowing global economy have also unnerved investors.

The Dow plunged 832 points, or 3.2%, on Wednesday. Tech stocks took a beating, sending the Nasdaq tumbling 4% --- its worst day since the Brexit referendum of June 2016.

That dragged down stock indexes in the United Kingdom, Germany and France on Thursday, all of which fell more than 1%. Benchmark indexes in Shanghai and Tokyo closed down 5.2% and almost 4%, respectively. Hong Kong's market was down over 3%.

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