Roller-coaster Dow leaves markets braced for turmoil

Dealers are bracing themselves for a day of turmoil on world stock markets after shares took a nerve-jangling tumble on Wall Street yesterday with investors continued to worry about continuing strength in the United States economy and the spectre of a long run of rising interest rates.

By the close last night, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off by a dizzying 157.11 points, or 2.3 per cent, at 6,583.48. The fall, which computerised trading curbs failed to halt, came on the heels of the index's 140-point loss last Thursday.

While some analysts continued to argue that the return of the bear to the Wall Street represented no more than the correction that many had been expected, others were sounding alarm bells. Any slippage beneath the psychologically-important 6,600 level could instil more generalised fears, if not investor panic.

The story was similar across the markets. The technology-heavy Nasdaq exchange was also hurting badly yesterday - it was off more than 15 points at midday. Dealers are bracing themselves for volatile trading today after shares plunged again on Wall Street yesterday. Equities are expected to take their cue from a US market that returned from the shorter American Easter holiday as nervously as it had entered the break.

After a 140-point fall last Thursday in New York, the Dow Jones index fell sharply in early trading yesterday as dealers banked on another rise in American interest rates following last week's quarter-point increase. The Dow was trading 107.64 points off at 6,632.95 in midday trading, having been 140.8 down at mid-morning.

Shares were especially nervous ahead of economic data this week that could shape perceptions about inflation, interest rates and the stock market's future health. Later today the March survey of manufacturing conditions from the National Association of Purchasing Management will be published, while on Friday the Labor Department releases the March employment report.

The slide resumed immediately after the opening bell yesterday, leading to an early activation of computerised trading curbs on the New York Stock Exchange. It was a similar story of pain elsewhere. The technology-heavy Nasdaq exchange was also hurting badly yesterday - off 28 at 1,221 by the close. Nor was there much help forthcoming from the bond market, where the yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond, after steadying briefly in early trading, began to climb again. At last Thursday's close, the yield was at 7.08 per cent, its highest level since last September.

Once bond yields break through the 7 per cent barrier, investors often begin looking towards the bond market and away from equities as the best place for their dollars.

Most analysts continued to attribute the onset of market turbulence to last week's Federal Reserve decision to raise short-term interest rates by a quarter-point. There is still concern that further increases may be around the corner.

Fuelling that worry was additional data yesterday pointing to an overly healthy US economy. The Commerce Department reported that Americans' personal income jumped 0.9 per cent in February, the largest gain in nine months.

While spending grew by a much more modest 0.3 per cent - the smallest gain since for six months - it came after a full 1 per cent surge in January.

"The data will keep the market on the defensive," said Peter Cardillo of Westfalia Investments.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

BC2

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

(Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

Finance Officer

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education are seeking a Fi...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice