According to Bloomberg, U.S. stocks fell, dragging the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its biggest loss in two months, as speculation the Federal Reserve may scale back stimulus amid faster-than-estimated economic growth overshadowed a move by the European Central Bank to cut a key interest rate.
Twitter Inc., which raised $1.82 billion in its initial public offering, rallied 73 percent in its debut. Qualcomm Inc. dropped 3.8 percent after the largest maker of smartphone chips predicted quarterly sales that missed analysts’ estimates. Whole Foods Market Inc. slumped 11 percent after cutting its profit forecast. J.C. Penney Co. jumped 5.6 percent after posting its first rise in monthly same-store sales in two years.
The S&P 500 fell 1.3 percent, the most since Aug. 27, to 1,747.15 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) slid 152.90 points, or 1 percent, to 15,593.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.9 percent for the biggest decline in a month. About 7.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, the busiest trading since Sept. 20.
“The market will be volatile,” Ernie Cecilia, chief investment officer at Bryn Mawr Trust Co. in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, said in a phone interview. His firm oversees about $7 billion. “You had some good economic news today and we’ll see what the payrolls numbers are tomorrow. The fear is that with better-than-expected economic numbers, tapering will commence sooner rather than later.”
The Dow climbed to a record yesterday and the S&P 500 (SPX) closed at a one-week high as Fed officials said economic weakness warrants continued stimulus from the central bank. The broad gauge of American equities has rallied 23 percent this year, challenging 2009 for the best annual gain in a decade, as corporate earnings beat estimates and the central bank kept interest rates low to spur economic growth.