US stocks extend slide in early trading

SHARE US stocks extend slide in early trading

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Thursday, following declines in European markets and extending losses from a wild market swing the day before.

The decline comes amid broad concerns over the health of the world economy. The concern is that global weakness will slow the U.S. economy and hurt corporate profits.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 97 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,044 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,848. The Nasdaq composite dropped 36 points, or 1 percent, to 4,175. The Dow is down 3 percent for the year and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are flat.

All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 fell, led by a 1 percent decline in utilities stocks.

Netflix plunged 23 percent after the company’s subscriber growth fell short of the its own forecasts following a rate increase. The stock slid $106.66 to $341.46.

European markets also fell. France’s CAC-40 lost 0.9 percent and Germany’s DAX shed 0.4 percent. Asian markets closed lower earlier, with Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 diving 2.2 percent.

Investors are worried about a downturn in global growth and dangerously low inflation. Slowdowns in Europe and China are seen threatening the U.S. recovery.

U.S. Treasury yields have dropped sharply on expectations that the world’s economic sluggishness could force the Federal Reserve to delay interest rate increases.

Investors continued to buy U.S. government bonds on Thursday, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury down to 2.11 percent from 2.14 percent late Wednesday.

In Europe, the biggest concern was Greece, where investors are worried the country might need more financial support as its government borrowing rates have risen sharply in recent days.

The country’s benchmark 10-year bond yield soared 1.09 percentage points Thursday to 8.82 percent. The rate was 6.5 percent earlier this week.

The rise suggests Greece is unlikely to be able to wean itself off its bailout loans as hoped, because borrowing on bond markets independently would be too expensive.

A slump in energy prices has also shaken global markets. The benchmark U.S. crude oil contract continued to slide in early trading, falling 65 cents to $81.13 a barrel.

Though lower oil prices can help consumer spending, they can weigh on inflation and squeeze the profits of energy companies.

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