USA stocks plunge, Dow falls 600 points to wipe out 2018 gains

Dow Jones drops 400 points after major stock market declines in Europe & Asia

Wall Street opened sharply lower on Tuesday as disappointing earnings from industrial bellwethers Caterpillar and 3M piled on to concerns over Saudi Arabia's diplomatic isolation, Italy's finances and trade war fears.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite is now 12.3 per cent below its August peak.

Disappointing quarterly results and outlooks continued to weigh on the market, stoking investors' jitters over future growth in corporate profits.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower.

'The sentiment and the outlook seems to be turning more negative, or at the very least, less rosy'. The benchmark index has lost 7.22 percent from its record closing high. Recent data showing the housing market is slowing have also fueled speculation that USA economic growth will start to slow next year.

Caterpillar's stock price tumbled after the heavy equipment manufacturer warned that Trump's taxes on imported steel were driving up production costs.

The losses followed a mixed day of corporate earnings that analysts fear signal the economy is exiting the "peak" earnings environment helped by United States tax cuts that were enacted late past year. So this could get much worse before it gets better.

While third quarter profit growth estimates have risen to 22.4 per cent from 21.6 per cent in the last 10 days, weaker forecasts have pulled down fourth quarter growth estimates to 19.5 per cent from 20 per cent, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.4 percent and the Kospi in South Korea gave up 0.4 percent. The Nasdaq Composite.IXIC dropped 140.08 points, or 1.88 percent, to 7,328.55 at the opening bell.

Georgia police officer shot, killed near school
The vehicle, which had as many as four people in it, took off and crashed less than a mile from the shooting scene, Smith said. Police say Pretlow drove the vehicle from the scene, crashed a short distance away and fled along with other occupants.

The Nasdaq slid 69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,399. UPS fell 3 percent.

The S&P 500 slid by about 3.1 percent, erasing all of its gains for the year.

On Wednesday, data showed sales of new USA single-family homes fell to a near two-year low in September, the latest sign that rising mortgage rates and higher prices were hurting demand for housing. The slide in bond yields came as traders sought out lower-risk assets.

Losses in banks, energy and technology companies outweighed gains by internet and consumer-goods stocks. Texas Instruments, a major chipmaker, slumped 8.2 percent and AT&T fell 8.1 percent.

BOTCHED DELIVERY: United Parcel Service slid 5.3 percent to $108.02 after the shipping company reported weak worldwide revenue, while the strong dollar and high fuel prices also hurt its results.

The falls on Wall Street came after official figures showed USA home sales fell to their slowest pace in almost two years, and a Federal Reserve report indicated that companies across America were concerned about the impact of tariffs and widespread labour shortages. Of those, 57 percent delivered earnings and revenue results that topped Wall Street's forecasts.

The share values of several tech giants all fell on Wednesday, including Facebook (down 5.41 percent), Amazon (down 5.91 percent), Google's parent company Alphabet (down 5.17 percent), AT&T (down 8.08 percent) and Netflix (down 9.4 percent).

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