U.S. stocks were hammered Wednesday with no end in view to political sparring over raising the debt limit and economic data that only heightened uncertainty about the recovery.
"The debate in Washington is creating more and more uncertainty, and the longer it drags on is only going to enhance market anxieties and lead to more volatility,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
Extending losses into a fourth session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA-1.59% fell 198.75 points, or 1.6%, to 12,302.55. The rout is the worst for the blue-chip index since June 1.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 IndexSPX-2.03% shed 27.05 points, or 2%, to 1,304.89, with technology and industrials the heaviest weights of the index’s 10 industry groups. All groups fell, “indicating investors are just hitting the sell button without distinguishing,” said Luschini.
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP-2.65% fell 75.17 points, or 2.7%, to 2,764.79.
The selloff extended beyond stocks, to almost every major asset class except the U.S. dollar.
Treasury prices also fell after investors offered tepid demand as the government auctioned $35 billion in five-year notes, with yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note 10_YEAR-0.10% rising to 2.978%.