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U.S. stocks down on steep slide in health care sector

Traders on the New York Stock Exchange on

Traders on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Michael Nagle

A batch of disappointing company earnings helped put investors in a selling mood Tuesday, pulling U.S. stocks sharply lower.

Health care companies led the broad market slide, which more than wiped out gains from the day before. Materials, utilities and technology stocks were among the big decliners. Energy stocks also closed lower as crude oil prices declined.

Several companies, including Alcoa, reported quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. While investors will get to size up earnings from many more companies in coming weeks, the downbeat start to the third-quarter earnings season weighed on the market, said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.

“It’s just a bad tone to get us started,” Kinahan said.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200.38 points, or 1.1 percent, to 18,128.66. Earlier, the average was down as much as 267 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 26.93 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,136.73. The Nasdaq composite index slid 81.89 points, or 1.5 percent, to 5,246.79.

Apple got a slight boost after rival Samsung said it was discontinuing its Galaxy Note 7 phone permanently because of overheating handsets. The Galaxy Note 7 competed with Apple’s iPhone. Apple gained 25 cents to $116.30.


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