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Wall St slides as Italy adds to economic concerns

New York, U.S. stocks fell more than 1 percent on Thursday as the European Commission issued a warning regarding Italy's budget, further denting investors' appetite for risk amid global trade tensions and rising interest rates.

The benchmark S and P 500 index closed just above its 200-day moving average, a key indicator of long-term price trends.

S and P 500 technology and consumer discretionary stocks fell more than 2 percent, as did the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Among the S and P's major sectors, only utilities and real estate, considered defensive, avoided losses.

Wall Street's major indexes pared early losses in morning trading but reversed course to fall further as European markets closed. Italian bond yields jumped after the European Commission deemed the country's 2019 budget draft to be in breach of EU rules.

U.S. stocks had opened lower as Chinese stocks fell overnight, sparking fresh worries about the impact of trade tensions on China's economy.

Concerns over rising interest rates following Wednesday's release of the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from its September meeting also pressured Wall Street's major indexes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 327.23 points, or 1.3 percent, to 25,379.45, the S and P 500 lost 40.43 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,768.78 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 157.56 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,485.14.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.47-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.26-to-1 ratio favored decliners. The S and P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and 36 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 16 new highs and 128 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.79 billion shares, compared to the 7.95 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

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