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Market ReportWALL STREET

Dow drops 200 points as Wall Street frets over the global economy

US-China trade concern contributed to the decline in equities

Wall Street sign
Negative European news hampered US markets Thursday

US markets fell for a fourth straight day after the European Central Bank announced reduced growth targets for 2019 and a round of stimulus for banks in the region. As trade talks between the US and China remained in limbo, the world economy had investors spooked.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 each closed down 0.8% to 25473.2 and 2748.9, respectively. The blue-chip index was down 200 points.

The Nasdaq took a bigger hit, ending the day down 1.1% at 7421.5, and the small cap index Russell 2000 fell 0.9% to close at 1523.2.

Up in Canada, the S&P/TSX slipped 0.2% to 16056.5.

12:55 am: US, European markets can't shake downward pull

Wall Street is struggling for a fourth straight day Thursday on the back of news that the European Central Bank offered a diminished 2019 growth forecast.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.7% to 25,494.5 Thursday afternoon, the Nasdaq followed suit, losing 0.6% to 7,459.9, and the S&P 500 fell 0.6% to 2,756.

The Russell 2000, which tracks small-cap stocks, was down 0.5% to 1,529.7.

In Toronto, the TSX/S&P Composite Index is down 0.2% to 16,065.

European markets weren’t immune to the downward trend. The FTSE closed down 0.5% at 7,157.6 in London, the French CAC fell 0.4% to 5,267.9 and the German DAX tumbled 1.6% to 25.4.

10:17 am: Wall Street on pace for another losing day

US markets got off to another down day, which would mark the fourth in as many days on Wall Street.

Investors had an eye to Europe Thursday morning, as the European Central Bank announced cuts to its 2019 economic growth forecast, per CNBC, as well as a new round of stimulus for banks in the region.

Those moves, plus a continued lack of progress on US-China trade talks sparked concern.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.9% to 25,431.3 Thursday morning, the Nasdaq followed suit, losing 0.9% to 7,439.1, and the S&P 500 fell 0.8% to 2,749.3.

In Toronto, the TSX/S&P Composite Index is down 0.2% to 16,053.1.

In Europe, leading indices are also lagging. The FTSE is down 0.8% to 7,137.7 in London, the French CAC fell 0.7% to 5,253.3 and the German DAX dropped 1% to 25.4.

7:20 am: Wall Street's losing streak set to continue; European benchmarks also lower

Wall Street shares are seen lagging at the open in New York after a negative close as the markets grew weary yesterday of awaiting for a resolution on the US/China trade spat.

Yesterday's negative finish in the US marked the third in a row.

New official data on Wednesday also showed the US trade deficit reached its highest point in a decade, rising to $59.8 billion in December versus November's $50.3 billion figure.

The Dow  Jones Industrial Average closed down 133 points at 25,673, while the Nasdaq finished around 70 lower at 7,505. The broader S&P 500 index shed 18 at 2,771.

In Toronto, the TSX closed up around five points at 16,092.

In futures trade today, the Dow Jones is off 95 points, the Nasdaq is around 23 lower and the S&P 500 futures are trailing eight points.

As well as another round of earnings, investors will be focused on the Eurozone and the latest policy decision from the European Central Bank.

Of interest is whether the central bank downgrades its economic forecast for the Eurozone, and whether interest rate will be kept on hold for longer than expected.

European indices are lower on Thursday morning. The FTSE 100 in London is off around 30 points at 7,165, while the DAX is around 50 points lower.

In Asia overnight, the Nikkei 225 dropped 140 points at 21,456 but the Shanghai Composite index gained around four.

Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex in London, said: "The Dow Jones has had a terrible start to March, one that is expected to continue this afternoon, with the futures pencilling in an 80 point drop when the bell rings on Wall Street. That will leave the Dow the wrong side of 25600 for the first time in close to 3 weeks."

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