(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ ortype LIVE/ in an Eikon news window.)
* Energy stocks hit by lower oil prices; tech down again
* S&P 500 hits lowest level since July at session low
* CPI and core CPI rise less than expected in September
* Indexes down: Dow 2.13 pct, S&P 2.06, Nasdaq 1.25 pct
* (Adds comments, updates to close)
By Sinéad Carew
Oct 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes continued their slidein Thursday's volatile session as investors worried about risinginterest rates and braced for a trade war hit to corporateearnings a day ahead of the quarterly reporting season kickoff.
In its sixth consecutive day of declines, the S&P closeddown 2.1 percent after shedding 3 percent in Wednesday'ssession. But at its session low the benchmark fell 2.7 percentto its lowest level since early July.
The Nasdaq narrowly avoided confirming a correction. Duringthe session it fell as much as 10.3 percent from its Aug. 29closing record high but ended the day 9.6 percent below therecord.
Investors worried that equity markets would have troublerecovering as rising interest rates coincide with uncertaintyabout how much earnings growth would be hurt by a U.S. trade warwith China.
"People fear that it will be harder to snap back if we'reseeing a cyclical top in earnings with those two headwinds,which are not going away," said Michael O'Rourke, chief marketstrategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 545.91 points,or 2.13 percent, to 25,052.83, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 57.31points, or 2.06 percent, to 2,728.37 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 92.99 points, or 1.25 percent, to 7,329.06.
After hitting an intraday high of 28.84, the CBOE VolatilityIndex .VIX , popularly known as the "fear gauge," ended the dayup 2 points at 24.98, its highest close since Feb. 12.
"We saw a rally this morning, and that ended up being asuckers' rally. Then you had buy-the-dippers coming in heresaying this was too much too fast," said Dennis Dick,proprietary trader at Bright Trading Llc In Las Vegas.
"Are we out of the woods here? I don't think so," he said."You're going to see a lot of volatility in the next week orso."
The energy sector .SPNY , pressured by a drop in oilprices, was the lead decliner, while insurers were some of thebiggest losers in the financial sector a day after powerfulHurricane Michael slammed into Florida.
The S&P's 11 major sectors all ended the day in the red withonly the communications services sector .SPLRCL managing adecline of less than 1 percent.
Energy was the biggest loser with a 3.1 percent drop as oilprices hit two-week lows after an industry report showed abigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories. O/R
The financial sector .SPSY fell 2.9 percent, also hurt bya 2.7 percent drop in bank stocks .SPXBK a day before three ofthe biggest banks were to report quarterly results.
Wall Street expects S&P 500 companies to reportthird-quarter earnings growth of 21.3 percent for the thirdquarter according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.
The technology sector .SPLRCT , the biggest loser inWednesday's sell-off, closed down 1.3 percent on Thursday.
Stocks had seen some support earlier in the session fromU.S. data showing a smaller-than-anticipated rise in consumerprices as it helped ease fears of increasing inflationpressures. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1WR0KJ
The data helped push U.S. Treasury yields to a one-week low,further soothing equity investors. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1WR14K
But investors still faced a sea of worries, includinguncertainty ahead of U.S. midterm congressional elections onNov. 6, and hawkish comments last week from U.S. Federal Reserveofficials.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a3.52-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.66-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and 62 new lows; theNasdaq Composite recorded 6 new highs and 291 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.44 billion shares, itshighest level since Feb. and compared with the 7.65billion-share average for the full session over the last 20trading days. (Additional reporting by April Joyner, Caroline Valetkevitch inNew York, Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by NickZieminski and Jonathan Oatis) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 (646) 223 6186; ReutersMessaging: email@example.com))