On Monday, the market chatter was about a significant sell-off, maybe even a serious correction. But some of that fear was apparently washed away when stocks bounced back on Tuesday and Wednesday. Well, the fear is back.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) tumbled 267 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) plunged 129 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 39 points. It's the Nasdaq's biggest point loss in more than a year.
Anything related to health care -- especially biotechs -- got clobbered.
A closely watched biotech index slid 5.5 percent. Amgen (AMGN), Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) all fell by 5 percent or more.
Even big drug stocks took a hit. Pfizer (PFE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Eli Lilly (LLY) all fell about 2 percent.
Internet and social media stocks also resumed their decline. Google (GOOG) and Amazon.com (AMZN) both down more than 4 percent. Netflix (NFLX) and Facebook (FB) fell 5 percent. LinkedIn (LNKD) lost 3.5 percent. Pandora Media (P) slid 10.5 percent.
EBay (EBAY) fell 3 percent after activist investor Carl Icahn withdrew his proposal for the company to spin off its PayPal unit.
Many old tech stocks also lost ground. Microsoft (MSFT) fell 2.5 percent and Intel (INTC) lost 2 percent.
Financial stocks were also hard hit. American Express (AXP), Visa (V) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) all lost about 3 percent. Ally Financial picked the wrong day to go public. Its IPO fell 4 percent from its $25 offering price.
Other big movers:
- Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY) lost 6 percent as net fell short of expectations.
- PriceSmart (PSMT) dropped 12 percent even though earnings were in line.
- The big loser was the network security firm Imperva (IMPV). It tumbled 44 percent after slashing its outlook.
- Rite Aid (RAD) gained 8.5 percent as earnings easily beat expectations.
- And Ruby Tuesday (RT) rose 12 percent. Its loss wasn't as steep as expected.
What to Watch Friday:
- The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs meet in Washington.
- The Labor Department releases producer prices for March at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
- The University of Michigan releases its preliminary survey of consumer sentiment for April at 9:55 a.m.