Markets

Close Update: Nasdaq Plummets on Slump in Biotechs, Dow Slips Below 16,000

Plagued by more bad economic news from China, and another meltdown in the biotech sector, Wall Street suffered a significant sell-off on Monday leaving the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirting with a 15-handle and the Nasdaq Composite at its lowest level in more than a month. Losses were spread indiscriminately across nearly every sector of the S&P 500 resulting in a fifth consecutive day in the red. But it was the Nasdaq that was bloodied by the selling frenzy in biotechs, slipping below 4,600 for the first time in three weeks.

Stocks were also undermined by the combination of disappointing economic data with hawkish comments from a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee. New York Fed President William Dudley, one of the more dovish members of the Fed, said that a rate hike was likely in 2015 and could come as soon as October.

The remarks preceded a 1.4% decline in the pending home sales index and negative 9.5 in the Dallas Fed manufacturing index, both missing expectations and indicating soft spots in the economy.

In addition to biotechs, commodity-based and oil stocks were also on the defensive as slower global growth is expected to impact demand for energy and industrial metals. This was highlighted by a sell-off in shares of Glencore to a record low as investors bailed out of the Swiss miner amid concerns that plummeting commodity prices will leave the stock of the debt-laden company worthless.

Coming up on Tuesday is economic data that includes international trade, the Case-Shiller home price index (expected +0.1%, 20-city seasonally-adjusted) and September consumer confidence (expected to decline to 96.0 from 101.5 in August).

Here's where the markets stood at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 312.78 points (-1.92%)

S&P 500 was down 49.57 points (-2.57%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 142.53 points (-3.04%)

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was down 2.46%

Nikkei 225 was down 1.32%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.43%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.27%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) RJET (+81.79%) Signs tentative agreement on new contract with Teamsters Local 357

(+) MEG (+22.33%) Received a $14.50 per share offer from Nexstar Broadcasting ( NXST )

(+) OGXI (+7.26%) Announced positive Phase 3 Synergy trial data

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) VSTM (-67.37%) Stopped enrolling patients in COMMAND study of VS-6063

(-) HUN (-28.68%) Identified trends that are expected to negatively impact Q3 earnings

(-) EPZM (-27.22%) Reported results of updated Tazemetostat Phase I Data showing clinical activity in a broader range of adults with tumors

(-) VRX (-16.61%) Reports that Democrats want subpoenas on price increases

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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