NEW YORK (AP) — Renewed concerns about central banks easing off their efforts to support the global economy weighed on the U.S. stock market Tuesday. Indexes were slightly lower in early afternoon trading.
It started off much worse. The stock market began sliding from the opening bell, trailing markets in Asia and Europe, which were rattled when the Bank of Japan decided not to take any new steps to spur that country’s economic growth.
The news out of Japan added to concerns surrounding global central banks, investors said. U.S. markets have been shaken by speculation that the Federal Reserve will start curtailing its own bond-buying program in the coming months.
“There’s just a lot of uncertainty,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at the brokerage BTIG in New York. “People are worried about the Fed. They’re worried about a spike in interest rates. And then Japan says it’s finished for now.”
Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 53 points to 15,181. It had lost as much as 152 points in the first hour of trading.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell nine points to 1,633, a loss of 0.6 percent. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the index fell, led by banks and producers of commodities such as oil.
Sprint Nextel gained 2 percent after Japan’s Softbank raised its offer for the company by $1.5 billion. Softbank’s total bid for the country’s third-largest phone carrier is now valued at $21.6 billion, still short of the $25.5 billion offered by Dish Network. Sprint’s stock rose 16 cents to $7.34.
The S&P 500 index has lost 2 percent since setting a record high on May 21. The next day, minutes from a monthly Fed meeting suggested the central bank could decide to scale back its stimulus as early as June if the economy picks up.
Overseas, the Bank of Japan voted to stick to its current bond-buying program, disappointing those who had expected new measures to help the world’s third-largest economy. Japan’s Nikkei stock index lost 1.5 percent.
Major stock markets in Europe also fell. Germany’s DAX dropped 1 percent and France’s CAC-40 lost 1.4 percent.
In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 2.21 percent, the same as it was late Monday.
In commodities trading, crude oil fell 81 cents to $94.96 a barrel in New York. Gold dropped $11 to $1,375 an ounce.
The Nasdaq composite dropped 18 points to 3,456, a 0.5 percent decline.
Among other companies making big moves:
— Lululemon Athletica plunged $13.73, or 16 percent, to $68.57 following news that the yoga-clothing maker’s CEO will step down as soon as the company’s board finds a replacement.
— Dole Foods soared 21 percent after the company’s CEO and his family offered to take the fresh fruit and vegetable company private at $12 per share. That bid values the company at $1.1 billion. The company’s stock gained $2.16 to $12.36
— Corinthian Colleges slumped 27 cents, or 10 percent, to $2.52. The company disclosed that it’s under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and has been asked to turn over information on student attendance, recruitment and defaults on federal loans. The Santa Ana, Calif. company runs the Everest, Heald and WyoTech colleges.
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Another area of low pressure will send snow to the Valley. That snow will change over to a wintry mix Sunday night which could lead to slick roads.
An East Liverpool police officer preparing to tow an illegally licensed vehicle Friday found something more than he expected: a box of holiday-themed crack cocaine.
Christmas officially kicked off Saturday in the city of Youngstown.
A new burger was crowned "king" of the Mahoning Valley Saturday.
A fashion show was held in Warren Saturday to help children who are living in a shelter.
Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County dedicated its 39th house on Saturday. It's been a long journey to get to this day, including the cleanup after vandals and thieves threatened the project.
Eastern Gateway Community College in Youngstown held an open house Saturday. The event is just one of many the school will be hosting to attract more students.
The sounds of the holiday season could be heard in Niles Saturday as a Valley tradition returned to the Eastwood Mall.
American Red Cross workers stayed busy Saturday at a holiday blood drive in Boardman.
UPDATE: A Canfield student won big on national television Saturday.
Allegiant Airlines will begin charging a fee for printing boarding passes beginning May 1, 2014.
Several hundred fans made the trip to Massillon to cheer on the Youngstown Cardinal Mooney football team as it went for its ninth state championship.
A Salem woman was arrested on a drug charge after a raid at her home on Thursday.
After 40 years, Dr. Richard Billak, who started the Community Corrections Association, is retiring at the end of December.
A group of local drug store workers spent part of their day giving back to some of the area's less fortunate.
The Youngstown Air Reserve Station confirmed Friday that the "Thunder Over the Valley" air show will return in the spring.