US STOCKS-Wall St sells off on growth concerns; volatility picks up
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK Oct 9 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 posted its largest percentage decline in six months on Thursday on lingering concern about the strength of the global economy and its effect on corporate earnings.
The selloff, which put the S&P 500 at its lowest since August 7, followed weak data from Germany, Europe's largest economy, and comments from a Fed official who suggested investors had unrealistic expectations about the Fed's eventual rate increase.
German exports in August showed their biggest drop since January 2009, which followed reports this week showing steep drops in industrial orders and output.
"Investors are focused on the uncertainty about the economy," said Michael Yoshikami, CEO and founder at Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California.
Adding to market jitters, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said he was concerned by a disconnect between the market's view of the Fed's rate hike path and the central bank's own view.
"The markets are making a mistake," said Bullard, a non-voting member of the FOMC who is, however, seen by investors as a bellwether among Fed officials.
Expectations for a more dovish Fed had triggered a rally in stocks on Wednesday, but indexes wiped out all of those gains in Thursday's trading.
Market participants said the end of the Fed's third round of quantitative easing this month was also bearish as it takes away one of the pillars of the five-year bull market. Continuación...