U.S. stocks fell, with Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling more than 250 points, amid mounting concern that central-bank efforts to support growth are losing their potency.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index pared losses in the last hour-and-a-half of trading, after earlier falling as much as 2.3 percent, while the Nasdaq 100 Index erased most of its decline. Banks led the retreat, with Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. falling more than 6.5 percent. Boeing Co. tumbled 6.8 percent after people familiar with the matter said regulators are probing its accounting.
The S&P 500 dropped 1.2 percent to 1,829.06 at 4 p.m. in New York, extending declines to a fifth day, its longest losing streak since September. The benchmark fell to around the 1,810 level before rebounding. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 255.17 points, or 1.6 percent, to 15,659.57, as Boeing’s plunge knocked 54 points off the index.
Signals by central banks from Europe to Japan that additional stimulus is at the ready are failing to ease worries that global growth will keep slowing. An initial rally in U.S. stocks evaporated in the final hour of trading on Wednesday as speculation that the Federal Reserve will hold off longer on raising interest rates gave way to renewed concern over the strength of the U.S. economy. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Congress yesterday that recent market turbulence may weigh on the outlook for the economy if it persists.
The S&P 500 is 14 percent below its all-time high set in May, near its lowest level in two years. The Nasdaq Composite Index is about 18 percent below its record set in July amid a more than 15 percent drop so far this year.