US stocks slide, following global markets lower


U.S. stocks are falling sharply, following a global rout as investors pull money out of emerging markets like Turkey and Argentina and worry about a slowdown in China. Traders shifted money into lower-risk assets like U.S. government debt and the Japanese yen.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 149 points, or 0.9 percent, at 16,046 in the first hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 15 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,812. The Nasdaq composite was down 39 points, or 0.9 percent, at 4,179.

FLIGHT FROM RISK: Investors were worried about sharp drops in the values of currencies in several emerging markets including Turkey, Russia, South Africa and Argentina. The downturn in emerging-market assets began Thursday following signs that manufacturing was contracting in China, a major importer of raw materials and a key driver of global economic growth.

BIGGEST LOSERS: Railroad operator Kansas City Southern plunged $23.01, or 20 percent, to $94.27 after missing earnings estimates. Tool seller W.W. Grainger Inc. dropped $10.66, or more than 4 percent, to $246 after a disappointing profit. Engine-maker Cummins Inc. fell $3.17, or 2.4 percent, to $128.90.

LOUSY WEEK: The Dow has fallen every day this week, leaving it down 2.4 percent. The S&P 500 had small gains Monday and Tuesday but is still down 1.3 percent since last Friday.

MICROSOFT GAINS: The software maker's gains were one bright spot in a declining market. Microsoft rose $1.30, or 3.6 percent, to $37.35. Its quarterly revenue and earnings beat Wall Street expectations because of strong sales of its new Xbox One console and Surface tablets.

JAVA JOLT: Starbucks rose $2.07, or 2.8 percent, to $75.46, after its quarterly earnings benefited from lower coffee costs and growing sales around the world.

EUROPE AND ASIA: The worries about emerging markets also sent overseas markets lower. Japan's yen, which is seen as a safe haven, surged, which hurts the prospects for Japan's export-driven economy. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.9 percent. France's CAC-40 index fell 1.8 percent and Germany's DAX lost 1.7 percent.

TREASURIES AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose as investors moved money into lower-risk assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined to 2.74 percent from 2.78 percent late Thursday. Oil fell slightly to $96.94 a barrel, while gold rose $6.30 to $1,268.70 an ounce.

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