Tallahassee Journal

Dow down more than 150 points after Monday rout

Dow down more than 150 points after Monday rout

The wobbly U.S. stock market’s attempt at a rebound is losing steam in late-morning trading, as the Dow is down more than 150 points after its worst one-day plunge in three months yesterday, as investors continue to grapple with a slow start to 2015 due to still-sinking oil prices, political and economic troubles abroad and some weak U.S. data released today.stock_market_01

As of 11:55 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down as much as 155 points, or 0.9%, to 17,346 — following yesterday’s 331-point plunge. Monday’s rout was the blue-chip stock gauge’s worst one-day decline since Oct. 9, when it tumbled nearly 335 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite are down 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively. All three major benchmarks opened slightly higher at the start of trading.

Today’s weakness was again driven by sinking oil prices and worries about Europe. Adding to the angst — and what seemed to turn stocks lower after an early attempt at a rally — was weak incoming readings on the U.S. services sector in December and factory output in November. Investors are clearly taking profits after a third straight year of 10%-plus gains for the first time since the late 1990s.

In a sign of risk aversion, investors are flocking to the safety of 10-year U.S. government bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is below 2% for the first time since May 2013. It has fallen as low as 1.93% today. Despite calls from Wall Street for another solid year of gains for U.S. stocks, the stock market has gotten off to a slow start this year.

The Dow and Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index were already down almost 2% heading into the today’s third session of the New Year. The early-year volatility to the downside is reminiscent to a weak start last January, when the broad market was coming off a nearly 30% gain and profit-taking ensued and the large-company stock index fell 3.6% before rebounding and finishing 2014 up 11.4%.