US stocks drop over poor econ. data


US stock markets have dropped for the second consecutive day over concerns about US and European economies.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46.92 points (0.34 percent) to close at 13,880.62, Reuters reported.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 9.53 points (0.63 percent) to 1,502.42, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 32.92 (1.04 percent) to 3,131.49.

US stocks posted the worst two-day decline, marking the first sustained pullback since November last year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq recorded the biggest daily drop of the year on Wednesday after comments from the Federal Reserve sparked concerns that the central bank may rein in its economic stimulus measures.
A statement by the San Francisco-based Charles Schwab Corp. — a brokerage and banking company — indicated that a measure of eurozone business activity, an analysis of the level of manufacturing activity in the US mid-Atlantic region, and the number of weekly US jobless claims, among other factors, contributed to the drop.

“Dampened global economic sentiment is contributing to the bulk of the extended sell-off,” the statement noted.

Meanwhile, a report by a global financial information services company on eurozone business activity showed that private business activity across the single-currency bloc hit a two-month low in February.

The London-based Markit Group Ltd. said in the report that the eurozone Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 47.3 in February from 48.6 the previous month.



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