Stocks collapse to begin the fourth quarter

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 -

U.S. stocks opened the fourth quarter with sharp declines amid growing jitters about global economic growth.

When it rains it pours and today it really came down hard as investors continued to aggressively posture themselves defensively ahead of the fourth quarter.  Stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Wednesday, falling to their lowest closing levels in over a month.

While the indexes ended the day in firm negative territory they did end off their lows for the session. The Dow tumbled 238 points (-1.4%) to 16,805, the Nasdaq plunged 71 points (-1.6%) to 4,422 and the S&P 500 plummeted 26 point (-1.3%) to 1,946. The NYSE finished at -1.23% and the small cap Russell 2000 at -1.5%.

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Ebola and the Bear

Before we discuss the significance of today’s rout, let’s review some of the seriousness of the news.

After the close yesterday we learned that the first case of Ebola broke the news in Dallas and that several people have been exposed. This news smashed the Dow Jones Transportation Index causing airline stocks to plunge as people begin to worry about traveling. And by the end of today’s close, a second case of Ebola has been confirmed in the same Dallas area.

Apparently, Ebola is only passed on by blood or fluid transfer and is not airborne but as you may have noticed everyone who works around Ebola victims are in hazmat suits – take it for what it’s worth. Just the simple news of this deadly disease reaching the U.S. reverberated through . . .

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