Stocks closed at their worst levels since November 7 Monday that was attributed to the large declines in the price of gold, oil and other commodities. This led to a selloff in equities. A weaker than expected report coming from China led to the initial decline of the stocks but selling accelerated later in the day as reports came of the blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Commodity related shares headed the stocks’ losses. Gold got its worst two day sell-off in 30 years as China data led to concerns about the strength of the global economy. The SPDR Gold Shares ETF fell 8.8 percent to $131.31.
Total trading volume was the second highest in 2013. Around 8.5 billion shares changed hands on us exchanges. Analysts said the stock market had been susceptible to a pullback due to the sharp increases since the start of 2013. The Dow and S&P 500 reached record highs in recent weeks. The S&P 500 is ip 8.8 percent for the year.
Late in the day, investors received the news of the explosions in Boston that made them nervous. It was reported that two were killed and dozens others were injured from the blasts.
The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 265.86 points to close at 14,599.20. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 36.49 points to 1,552.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 78.46 points to 3,216.49.
It was the largest daily percentage drop for all the three major indexes since November 7, when the market sold off after the US presidential election. The biggest losers of the day were materials and energy sectors. The S7P energy sector index dropped 3.9 percent. The S&P materials sector index also went down 3.9 percent.
Exxon Mobil dropped 2.8 percent to $86.49 and was the largest loss in the S&P 500. Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Cooper & Gold dropped 8.3 percent to $29.27.