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December 17, 2017
Friday, January 15, 2016

GLobal stocks hammered; S&P 500 hits lowest since Oct 2014

US stock indexes notched deep losses in volatile trading on Friday, with the S&P 500 hitting its lowest since October 2014 and the Dow losing more than 500 points, as oil prices dived below $30 per barrel.

All 10 major S&P sectors were in the red and all 30 Dow components lower. The Russell 2000 small-cap index fell as much as 3.5 percent to its lowest since July 2013.

The beaten-down energy sector's 4.43 percent slide led the declines, as oil prices fell 6.5 percent. The technology sector was down 4.31 percent, as Intel's weak report weighed heavily on chip stocks.

"Investors are scared to death, and the fact that it's happening at the beginning of year has some historical significance," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York.

At 13:01 p.m. ET (1801 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 448.5 points, or 2.74 percent, at 15,930.55.

European shares ended at their lowest since mid-December 2014, hit by losses in commodity-related stocks as BHP Billiton announced a major writedown and oil fell below $30 a barrel.

Some investors said stocks were deeply oversold and flagged hopes of more central bank intervention to help reverse the trend after three straight weeks of losses.

BHP Billiton shed 6.4 percent, the top faller on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, after saying it would write down the value of its US shale assets by $7.2 billion. That cemented expectations the company will be forced to cut its dividend for the first time in more than 25 years.

The FTSEurofirst 300 ended down 2.8 percent at 1,297.1 points, making its third straight weekly loss. It fell 6.7 percent last week when China allowed its currency to devalue.

Japanese stocks fell in choppy trade, giving up early gains after oil prices fell and the Bank of Japan's chief said he has no immediate plan to further ease monetary policy.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.5 percent to 17,147.11. For the week, the benchmark index dropped 3.1 percent.

The broader Topix declined 0.3 percent for the day to 1,402.45 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.3 percent to 12,625.86.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  





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