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Walmart’s plunge sinks retailers, breaking streak for stocks

Trader Michael Casey, left, works on the floor

Trader Michael Casey, left, works on the floor of the NYSE, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

The biggest drop in Walmart’s stock in 30 years and losses in other sectors pulled U.S. indexes lower Tuesday, snapping a six-day winning streak.

The losses deepened in the last hour of trading into a broad sell-off that erased early gains led by technology companies.

Walmart plunged 10 percent after reporting weak online sales and disappointing earnings. Grocery store operators, retailers, health care companies and industrial stocks accounted for much of the market’s slide.

“Investors have been lulled into a false sense that stock markets are not volatile,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist for Voya Investment Management. “Last week was one of the best weeks in years, and as we go back to normal volatility, you’re going to see what you would expect: normal ups and downs.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.6 percent, to 2,716.26. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 254.63 points, or 1 percent, to 24,964.75. The Nasdaq lost 0.1 percent, to 7,234.31. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 0.9 percent, to 1,529.99.

Bond prices, which had been declining early Tuesday, ended up little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 2.88. — AP

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