The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slumped the most in two months as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled the economy is nearly ready for higher borrowing costs, while the scale of the European Central Bank’s additional stimulus measures disappointed some investors.
Equities fell to their lowest level in almost three weeks as investors grapple with an array of influences, including divergent policies from major central banks, uneven economic data and turbulence in commodities markets. Energy shares slid Thursday for a second session, despite a rebound in oil prices, and health-care companies tumbled for the third time in four days.
The S&P 500 fell 1.4 percent to 2,049.78 at 4 p.m. in New York, following a 1.1 percent slide yesterday. The gauge sank below its average price during the past 200 days for the first time in three weeks. A measure volatility saw its biggest jump in two months.