U.S. stocks fell, with the Nasdaq Composite Index closing in on a bear market, as investors shunned risk worldwide amid concern that central-bank efforts to support growth are losing their potency.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 1.2 percent to 1,829.35 at 9:33 a.m. in New York, extending declines to a fifth day. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.2 percent to edge closer to a 20 percent drop from its record.
Data today showed filings for unemployment benefits declined to a seven-week low as hiring managers demonstrated confidence in the outlook after temporary adjustments around the holidays. Reports on retail sales and consumer sentiment are due tomorrow.
The S&P 500 closed Wednesday 13 percent below its all-time high set in May, near its lowest level in two years. The benchmark hasn’t managed to post a gain in the past four sessions — another drop today would mark its longest losing streak since September. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed yesterday 18 percent below its record set in July.