- The Dow Jones Industrial Average wiped out its 2018 gains.
- Technology stocks were among the biggest losers, with the Nasdaq entering a correction.
- Futures markets are pointing to falls of more than 2% on the ASX today.
Wall Street wiped out gains for the year overnight, as corporate-earnings season failed to calm nerves about rising rates and the prospect of slowing economic growth worldwide.
The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.63% into correction territory as a broad sell-off pummeled the index, with chipmakers among the biggest losers. A correction is defined as a drop of more than 10% from a recent high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 2.4%, or more than 600 points, erasing its gains for the year. Extending a six-session losing streak, the S&P 500 also wiped out 2018 gains and lost more than 3%.
Following the heavy falls on global markets, ASX futures slumped by almost 100 points, indicating falls of more than 2% on the local index today. Futures markets for Japan’s Nikkei index are also down more than 2%.
Even after reporting a jump in subscribers last week, Netflix (-9.4%) was pulled down by the broader sell-off. Semiconductor companies, including AMD (-9.7%) and Nvidia (-9.8%), were sharply lower.
A combination of worries have weighed on Wall Street this month, with some anxious the Federal Reserve could raise borrowing costs at a pace that may become slightly restrictive.
Adding to concerns, China reported last week that economic growth fell to the lowest level in a decade in the third quarter. The Shanghai Composite was able to close 0.33% higher, however, after finding some relief in government pledges to prop up equities.
Jason Draho, the head of American asset allocation at UBS, said signs of slowing demand in financial reports could weigh on sentiment in the US.
“Overall, earnings results are good, but pockets of results, such as those in the Industrials sector, show the impact of tariffs and the slowdown in global trade,” Draho said.
Boeing (+1.3%) offered the Dow some relief Wednesday after posting third-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations. Other industrial companies had dimmed their profit outlooks a day earlier, with Caterpillar (-5.6%) warning Chinese tariffs would push up its costs.
“Market technicals are showing signs of improving, with fewer stocks reaching 4-week lows yesterday and weak market depth of trading activity likely close to a bottom,” Draho added.
“Technicals will likely have to stabilize before the market reaches a bottom and can start grinding higher on good fundamentals.”
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