The S&P 500 on Thursday posted its largest percentage decline in six months on concerns about the strength of the global economy and its effect on corporate earnings. The slide dragged the benchmark to below its 150-day moving average for the first time since November 2012.
The selloff, which put the S&P 500 at its lowest since Aug. 7, followed weak data from Germany, Europe’s largest economy, and comments from a Fed official who suggested investors had unrealistic expectations about the Fed’s eventual rate increase. German exports in August fell the most since January 2009, and reports earlier in the week showed steep drops in industrial orders and output.
“Investors are focused on the uncertainty about the economy,” said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive and founder of Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California. Adding to market jitters, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said he was concerned by a disconnect between the market’s view of the Fed’s rate-increase path and the central bank’s own view.