Stocks dropped steeply on Thursday as investors showed fears of a potential recession and currency volatility, erasing gains made during Wednesday’s rally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 450 points, or 1.5 percent, to 29,227, while the Nasdaq fell by 2.8 percent and the New York Stock Exchange sunk by 1.6 percent when markets closed Thursday.
The S&P 500 in the afternoon briefly fell to its lowest level since late 2020 before rising in the final minutes of trading, although all sectors suffered losses on Thursday.
Investors have fixated on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, which are aimed at lowering demand to reduce inflation.
Central bankers have expressed an intent to continue raising rates to curb price growth after multiple aggressive increases, potentially giving way to a recession. The Fed has warned its monetary tightening will likely produce an uptick in unemployment.
But applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, according to a new jobless claims report released on Thursday, showing that few companies are laying off workers despite the high inflation rate and borrowing costs.
Volatility in currency markets has led to more fret, with stocks having climbed on Wednesday as the Bank of England intervened to buy long-term government bonds.
The United Kingdom last week announced a plan to cut taxes and increase borrowing, spooking investors and sending yields soaring. The British pound dropped to an all-time low against the dollar on Monday before the U.K.’s central bank began its purchases.
Stock markets’ tumble on Thursday was driven by Apple’s nearly 4.8 percent drop, which CNBC reported came after a Bank of America analyst downgraded the stock from buy to neutral.
Some other technology stocks suffered major losses as well.
Tesla’s stock sank 6.8 percent, Meta fell by 3.2 percent and Amazon fell by about 2.6 percent.
Updated 4:11 p.m.