Dow Jones plunges 800 points as tech stocks tumble

US stocks plunged to their worst loss in eight months on Wednesday as technology companies continued to drop. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 700 points in afternoon trading.

Losses were fairly broad-based, with tech companies Amazon and Microsoft plummeting more than three percent, along with Boeing, Nike and Caterpillar.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 4.1% to 7,422 points, its biggest loss since February 8. Earnings season should improve investors' moods through the end of the year, he writes, with a cycle peak in 2020 and the next major low not due until 2020.

Compared to the start of this year, one aspect of current market conditions may be concerning.

The S&P 500 is on track for its fifth drop in a row and its biggest decline since April. Tech stocks, in particular, fell hard, as the Nasdaq fell 4.1% to approach "correction" territory. It's fallen 7.5 per cent in just five days.

The small-cap Russell 2000 index, less sensitive than its larger peers to global worries such as trade and yields, was down 1 per cent at 1,605.60 points, below its 200-day moving average. That was its biggest loss since March 22.

Stocks fell Wednesday as Wall Street sweats over global growth prospects and a bond selloff.

MARKETS ABROAD: Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent, South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.1 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.1 percent.

Insurance companies dropped as Hurricane Michael continued to gather strength and came ashore in Florida bringing winds of up to 155 miles an hour. Berkshire Hathaway dipped 4.7 per cent to US$213.10 and reinsurer Everest Re slid 5.1 per cent to US$217.73. Tiffany plunged 10.2 percent to $110.38 and Ralph Lauren fell 8.4 percent to $116.96.

There have recently been several indications that the US housing market has cooled, likely in part due to higher rates on mortgages.

U.S. stocks notched solid gains in the third quarter as investors brushed aside worries about trade wars and focused on strong corporate earnings and solid United States economic data.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.22 percent from 3.20 percent late Tuesday after earlier touching 3.24 percent. Higher rates can slow economic growth, erode corporate profits and make investors less willing to pay high prices for stocks.

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Gina Martin Adams, the chief equity strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence, said investors fear that company profit margins will be squeezed by rising costs, including the price of oil. The broader S&P 500 was down by even more, and had its worst day in more than six months.

The retreat on Wall Street was led by technology stocks, which dropped 2.55 per cent, and the trade-sensitive industrial stocks that fell 2 per cent.

It followed a bleak session in Europe, where Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 had each ended the day more than 2% lower.

Sears has closed hundreds of stores and sold several famous brands or put them on the block as it sees more customers abandon its stores.

Oil prices were lower, with the USA benchmark West Texas Intermediate losing nearly $2 to trade at just over $73 United States a barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 2.2 per cent to US$83.09 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline shed 2.7 per cent to $2.02 a gallon.

The S&P 500 fell 54 points, or 1.9 percent, to 2,825.

Gold was flat at $1,191.50 per ounce. Copper fell 0.9 per cent to $2.78 a pound.

Tech stocks and companies that sell non-essentials to consumers have been some of the top performers over the past year, gaining almost twice as much ground as the S&P 500.

"It can be pretty well validated by looking at monetary history that when you inflate the currency, distort interest rates, and live beyond your means and spend too much, there has to be an adjustment", Paul told RT on Tuesday, predicting that a stock market crash is just a matter of time. Brazil's Bovespa lost 2.5 per cent and the Merval in Argentina sank 2.2 per cent.

The Australian dollar slipped against major currencies, down to 70.7 U.S. cents, 53.6 British pence, 61.4 Euro cents and 79.5 Japanese yen. The euro rose to $1.1525 from $1.1496.

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