Wall Street Slump Extends to February Trading

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks closed out the first trading day of February with a major slide on the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 326 points to finish the session at 15,372.80.

February started the way January ended, with investors heading for the exits. The Dow finished down more than 7 percent since the start of the year.  A number of analysts now think that we could see the Dow fall 10 percent or more before it begins to rebound. A drop of 10 percent would be what investors call a “correction.”
 
The market’s other major indices also got hit pretty hard on Monday. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both closed down more than 2 percent. Of the 500 S&P stocks, 491 finished the day lower.
 
Analysts say one of the key catalysts for Monday’s slide was news that the U.S. manufacturing sector isn’t doing as well as investors expected. Overall factory activity across America fell to an eight-month low.  In addition to that there is talk that everything from home sales to consumer spending to jobs will be impacted for the next month or so because of the brutal weather hitting the U.S. since early December.  


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