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S&P 500 index touches nearly two-year lows
Airlines, cruises fall on cancellations due to Hurricane
CarMax slumps after missing second-quarter expectations
Indexes end: S&P 500 -2.11%, Nasdaq -2.84%, Dow -1.54%
Sept 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street ended sharply lower on
Thursday on worries that the Federal Reserve's aggressive fight
against inflation could hobble the U.S. economy, and as
investors fretted about a rout in global currency and debt
With tech heavyweights Apple Inc and Nvidia Corp
slumping more than 4%, the Nasdaq sank to near its
lowest level of 2022, set in mid-June.
The S&P 500 touched lows last seen in November 2020.
Down more than 8% in September, the benchmark is on track for
its worst September since 2008.
A sell-off in U.S. Treasuries resumed as Fed officials gave
no indication the U.S. central bank would moderate or change its
plans to aggressively raise interest rates to bring down high
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said she does not see
distress in U.S. financial markets that would alter the central
bank's campaign to lower inflation through rate hikes that have
taken the Fed funds rate to a range of 3.0% to 3.25%.
Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits fell to a five-month low last week as the
labor market remains resilient despite the Fed's aggressive
interest rate hikes.
"Good news is bad news in that today's job number again
reiterates that the Fed has a long way to go," said Phil
Blancato, head of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management in New
York. "The fear in the marketplace is that the Fed is going to
push us into a very deep recession, which will cause an earnings
recession, which is why the market is selling off."
The most traded stock in the S&P 500 was Tesla Inc,
with $20.8 billion worth of shares exchanged during the session.
The shares declined 6.8%.
The yields on many Treasuries, which are considered
virtually risk-free if held to maturity, now dwarf the S&P 500's
dividend yield, which recently stood at about 1.8%, according to
The S&P 500 dropped 2.11% to end the session at 3,640.47
The Nasdaq declined 2.84% to 10,737.51 points, while the Dow
Jones Industrial Average declined 1.54% to 29,225.61 points.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was relatively heavy, with 11.6
billion shares traded, compared with an average of 11.4 billion
shares over the previous 20 sessions.
All 11 S&P 500 sector indexes declined, led lower by
utilities, down 4.06%, followed by a 3.37% loss in
Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones within the S&P 500
by an 11.6-to-1 ratio.
Meta Platforms ended down 3.7% after Bloomberg
reported the Facebook owner froze hiring and warned employees of
more downsizing to come.
CarMax Inc slumped nearly 25% after the used-car
retailer missed expectations for second-quarter results, hurt by
consumers cutting spending amid inflation, rising interest rates
and higher car prices.
General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co fell more
than 5% each.
Airline carriers and cruise operators fell on canceled or
delayed trips after Hurricane Ian hit Florida's Gulf Coast with
American Airlines, United Airlines Holdings
and Delta Air Lines each lost more than 2%.
Cruise ship operators Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd
dropped 5.3% and Carnival Corp fell 6.8%.
The S&P 500 posted no new highs and 106 new lows; the Nasdaq
recorded 14 new highs and 518 new lows.
(Reporting by Susan Mathew, Ankika Biswas and Shreyashi Sanyal
in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Medha Singh; Editing by
Anil D'Silva, Arun Koyyur and Jonathan Oatis)