NEW YORK: U.S. stocks fell sharply on Friday as downbeat economic data from major European countries and the Federal Reserve's cautious outlook on the U.S. economy reignited fears of global economic slowdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 460.19 points, or 1.77 percent, to 25,502.32. The S&P 500 decreased 54.17 points, or 1.90 percent, to 2,800.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 196.29 points, or 2.50 percent, to 7,642.67, reports Xinhua.Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed lower, with materials and financials down 2.99 percent and 2.77 percent, respectively, leading the laggards. Utilities rose about 0.7 percent, the only gainer among the groups.
Nike shares dropped more than 6.6 percent at the close, among the worst performers in the Dow. The U.S. athletic apparel company reported quarterly results late Thursday, with its sales growth in North America missing estimates.
Boeing stock decreased 2.8 percent after reports said that Indonesian airline Garuda canceled its order for 49 Boeing 737 Max jets.
The eurozone economy lost momentum again in March, expanding only modestly as manufacturers reported their steepest downturn for six years, said the global information provider IHS Markit on Friday.
According to the IHS Markit report, in Germany, business activity grew at its slowest rate since June 2013 with new orders declining for a third successive month. In France, business activity fell for the third time in four months.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve also lowered its economic growth forecast for 2019.