NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. stocks fell sharply on Monday amid ongoing worries about the outlook for global growth. Health care companies led the declines as drugmakers continued to slide. The slump kept the stock market on track for its worst quarterly performance in four years.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell sharply on Monday amid ongoing worries about the outlook for global growth. Health care companies led the declines as drugmakers continued to slide. The slump kept the stock market on track for its worst quarterly performance in four years.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 47 points, or 2.4 percent, to 1,883 as of 3:34 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 292 points, or 1.8 percent, to 16,023. The Nasdaq composite slumped 137 points, or 2.9 percent, to 4,548. The indexes are on track for their biggest drop since Sept. 1.
THE SLUMP: Stocks have fallen sharply in August and September on concern that a slowdown in China, the world's second-largest economy, is worse than previously thought. On Monday analysts pointed to reports citing Chinese government statistics that showed profits in the nation's industrial companies plunged 8.8 percent last month. Investors are worried that a slowdown in emerging markets will start to hurt U.S. companies that rely on overseas demand for a large portion of their profits.
THE QUOTE: "Whenever the market is down, the first place to look these days is China," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Fund Management. "Right now, we need evidence that China is not slowing that much and that profits are still going to be OK."
THE DRUGS DON'T WORK: A sell-off in drugmakers extended into a second week. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index dropped 6.2 percent, its worst day in more than four years. The sector — a recent favorite of investors — slumped last week after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodman Clinton announced a plan to tackle rising drug costs.
ALCOA SPLIT: Alcoa bucked the downward trend after announcing that it will split into two independent companies. Its bauxite, aluminum and casting operations will be in one company and its engineering and transportation businesses will be in another. The company's stock rose 23 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $9.31.
RATES OUTLOOK: In addition to concerns about the outlook for growth in China, investors have also been worried about U.S. interest rates. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday that he expects policymakers will raise rates this year. The Fed has kept short-term rates close to zero for almost seven years to help the economy recover from the financial crisis.
MINING HIT: Gold and copper miner Freeport-McMoran was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, dropping 95 cents, or 9.8 percent, to $8.84. The stocks of raw material producers have plunged this year as demand from China and emerging markets has slowed.
VW LOWER AGAIN: Volkswagen shares were down 8.2 percent as German prosecutors opened an investigation against the company's former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, to establish what his role was in the emissions-rigging scandal. The investigation aims to determine who was responsible for selling vehicles with manipulated emissions data, prosecutors in Germany said in a statement.
EUROPE'S DAY: In Europe, France's CAC-40 slid 2.8 percent while Germany's DAX fell 2.1 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 2.5 percent lower.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 2.10 percent from 2.16 percent on Friday. The euro was little changed from Friday at $1.1201 and the dollar fell 0.7 percent to 119.9 yen.
METALS: Gold fell $13.90 to $1,131.70 an ounce. Silver dropped 57 cents to $14.54 an ounce and copper fell 3.2 cents or $2.25 a pound.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down $1.27 to $44.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, which is used to price international oils, shed $1.26 to $47.30 a barrel in London.