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Dow Opens Down 521 Points, but Drop Quickly Eases

08 February 2018

The original trigger for the US stock market sell-off was a sharp rise in USA bond yields late last week, after data showed US wages increasing at the fastest pace since 2009.

Investors remain fearful over the prospect of rising interest rates, which could bring an end to the bullish market.

Often referred to as the Dow, the Dow Jones Industrial Average or DJIA, is the oldest and most watched indices in the world, according to Investopedia.

The Dow finished 567.02 points higher, or 2.3 percent, at 24,912.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.5 percent to 2,681.66. The S&P 500 is up almost 292 percent since bottoming in early 2009.

The market's sharp drop began on Friday as investors anxious that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more quickly, which could slow down economic growth by making it more expensive for people and businesses to borrow money.

The Dow Jones dipped less than 0.1%, while the S&P 500 fell about 0.5% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.9%.

Trading has been turbulent all day.

Irish markets followed the broader European trade and the Iseq overall index had retreated 1.73 per cent in the early afternoon after having fallen as much as 3 per cent after the market open. There hasn't been one in two years, and by many measures stocks had been looking expensive.

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Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.0 percent at 5,889.60.

Big dividend companies including utility and real estate companies fell, as bond yields increased after a sharp drop on Monday.

On Friday, the rate on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to a four-year high.

"What we're seeing in the stock market is some investors looking at the success of the stock market over the last little while and considering whether that success is appropriate, based on expectations".

Wall Street's plunge sent shudders across global financial markets.

The Fed could raise interest rates more quickly than investors are prepared for if inflation accelerates at too fast a pace.

After all, the global economy continues to grow strongly and corporate earnings are largely good.

Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management, said: "It's over in terms of the severe down move we've seen but reminds us that we're kind of in an aftershock phase".

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Schutte said that as central banks stop propping up the market, trading will probably be more volatile in the next few years.

The U.S. dollar remained resilient despite the stock market sell-off, which at one stage Monday saw the Dow shed 1,597 points. Market volatility, which has been historically low in recent months, spiked, with the Cboe Volatility Index, commonly considered a gauge of investor fear, jumping by more than 100 percent.

Shares of Canada's big banks were among the biggest losers during the market rout with Toronto-Dominion Bank down nearly one per cent, and Royal Bank lower by 0.6 per cent. That could further upset markets, which have seen an unusual lack of volatility for more than a year. The Nasdaq composite climbed 40 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,003.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index pulled back from early highs to add 0.2%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.8%.

In other commodities trading, copper fell 3 cents to $3.19 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 109.38 yen from 109.33 yen. The euro slipped to $1.2372 from $1.2377.

On Monday, S&P 500 biggest losing stock was Wells Fargo.

Monday's decline extended the 666-point drop that happened Friday, a drop of about 2.5 percent.

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Dow Opens Down 521 Points, but Drop Quickly Eases