Stock losses deepen in midday trading

Stocks lurched lower again in midday trading Thursday, extending a streak of losses and putting the market on track for its second big weekly decline in a row.

Markets got off to a mixed start but fell steadily as the morning wore on. Technology companies, the leading sector over the past year, and banks fell the most.

Stock trading turned volatile over the last several days, breaking an unusually long period of calm, and the market is on track for its fifth loss in the last six days. European markets were also lower after the Bank of England said it could raise interest rates in the coming months.

After huge gains in the first weeks of this year, stocks tumbled Friday after the Labor Department said workers’ wages grew at a fast rate in January. That’s good for the economy, but investors worried it will hurt corporate profits and that rising wages are a sign of faster inflation. It could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace, which would act as a brake on the economy.

On Bay Street, the S&P/TSX composite index was down about 113 points, or 0.74 per cent , at 15,217.37 points in early afternoon trading.

The Canadian dollar was trading lower by 0.26 of a cent at 79.32 cents US. 

The S&P 500 shed almost 45 points to hit 2,636.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 500 points, or about two per cent, to 24,364. Boeing and Caterpillar took some of the worst losses. The Nasdaq composite fell 141 points, or 2 per cent, to 6,109.

The losses were broad. Three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, and nine out of the 11 industry sectors in the S&P 500 index were down.

Bond prices recovered most of an early loss, sending yields slightly higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.85 per cent from 2.84 per cent.


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