Stocks Rout to Envelop Asia as Treasuries Rally: Markets Wrap

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Wall Street sank on Tuesday, continuing a punishing month for USA stocks, as dismal outlook from industrial bellwethers Caterpillar and 3M sparked concerns over corporate growth and added to worries ranging from China's slowdown to Saudi Arabia's diplomatic isolation.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Index and the S&P 500 erased their 2018 gains on Wednesday in yet another disastrous day of trading and a sixth day of losses.

Technology and health care companies also took heavy losses Tuesday.

The S&P technology sector (-3pc) was hit the hardest, after the share prices of Apple (-3.4pc), Facebook (-5.4pc), Google (-5.2pc) and Netflix (-9.4pc) fell sharply.

3M fell 6.6 per cent and Caterpillar lost 7.8 per cent. Caterpillar said Trump's taxes on imported steel were driving up costs. Texas Instruments, a major chipmaker, slumped 8.2 per cent and AT&T fell 8.1 per cent.

The benchmark extended its October rout to nearly 9 percent, making it the worst month since February 2009, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell into a correction.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 fell 63 points, or 2.3 percent, to 2,677 as of 3:32 p.m.

Australia S&P/ASX 200 Index futures fell 1.6 percent.

The Nasdaq slid 69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,399.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors sought out safer investments. While those companies are expected to deliver 21.9 percent earnings growth for the third quarter, investors are concerned about future growth amid rising inflation, interest rates and uncertainty over trade.

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-China trade dispute. Among the big companies slated to release quarterly results this week are Microsoft, Amazon and Colgate-Palmolive.

us stocks fell sharply in morning trading Wednesday, adding to losses from a day earlier. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 0.3 percent to $76.67 per barrel in London.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange's volatility index, known as the VIX, or fear index, jumped 14 percent to its highest level in two weeks. AT&T, however, reported a 7.5 percent drop in quarterly results. It was down 227 points, or 0.9 percent, to 25,089. Marathon Oil dropped 3.5 percent to $19.74. The stock gained 5.7 percent to $176.16.

Truck maker Paccar tumbled 6.9 percent to $56.35, while engine manufacturer Cummins slid 3.4 percent to $135.17.

Despite the tumbling stock prices, the US economy looks solid.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index sank 3.1 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.42 yen from 112.47 yen on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 index fell 16 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,724. It's shares rose 1.4%. Copper dropped 1 percent to $2.76 a pound. Britain's FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent.

The US stock decline was preceded by a sharp sell-off in Asia, where China's Shanghai Composite declined 2.26 percent and Japan's Nikkei plunged 2.67 percent.