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Brutal Stock Sell-Off: Is it Time for a Correction?

The Institute for Supply Management on Monday released manufacturing data for January, indicating that activity expanded for the period, but far less than had been expected, with the index
Michael Teague is a staff writer for Equities.com. His previous experience includes three years as the associate editor of Los Angeles-based Al Jadid Magazine, a bi-annual review of the arts & culture of the Middle East, where he contributed many articles on the region in the form of features and book & film reviews. His educational background includes a BA in French literature from the University of California, Irvine, where he developed a startling proclivity for anything having to do with the 19th century.
Michael Teague is a staff writer for Equities.com. His previous experience includes three years as the associate editor of Los Angeles-based Al Jadid Magazine, a bi-annual review of the arts & culture of the Middle East, where he contributed many articles on the region in the form of features and book & film reviews. His educational background includes a BA in French literature from the University of California, Irvine, where he developed a startling proclivity for anything having to do with the 19th century.

The Institute for Supply Management on Monday released manufacturing data for January, indicating that activity expanded for the period, but far less than had been expected, with the index dropping from December’s 56.5 percent to 51.3 percent. The most pessimistic expectations had been looking for 54 percent.

The new comes ahead of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report due out on Friday, and sent markets into a frenzied and brutal sell-off as investors anxiously wait to see how incoming Fed Chairman Janet Yellen will react.

  • Standard & Poor’s 500: -2.28 percent to 1,741.89

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: -2.08 percent to 15,372.80

  • Nasdaq: -2.61 percent to 3,996.96

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On the S&P 500:

The sell-off spared no industry, with the heaviest losses taken by Ford Motor Co. (F) , General Electric (GE) , AT&T (T) , and Microsoft (MSFT) , all of which saw shares down by almost 3 percent or more.

Major drug manufacturer Pfizer Inc. ($PFZ) was a rare exception, as the company ended the day nearly 1 percent in the green after one of its breast cancer treatments met targets in a mid-stage study.

On the Dow:

The bloodbath was just as merciless for the Dow Industrials, where Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and United Technologies ($UTX) were among the day’s worst performers. Aside from Pfizer, Chevron (CVX) and Visa In. (V) were the only companies whose shares did not finish the day at least 1 percent lower.

On the Nasdaq:

Online gaming company Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) and American Airlines Group ($AAL) were two of the most heavily-traded gainers, up 2 and 1 percent respectively. But the sell-off took down Galena Biopharma (GALE) by nearly 20 percent, with Intel (INTC) down nearly 3 percent on some of the day’s heaviest trading.