After a one-day break, the stock market continued to drop Thursday, while the IBD 50 index of leading stocks fell into a bear market.
The IBD 50 is now more than 20% below its prior high, a decline that is normally considered a bear market in financial circles. Nearly half the IBD 50 stocks were down more than 2%, and losses for some were much higher.
Supernus Pharmaceuticals (SUPN) was the biggest loser, down nearly 13% at one point to its lowest level since early March. Shares gapped down despite the company’s announcement of positive results in an advanced trial for a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The Nasdaq composite gapped down to a loss of more than 2% but reduced that decline to 0.5% at 12:45 p.m. ET. The decline from the Aug. 31 peak is now more than 12%. Declines of more than 10% typically are termed corrections on Wall Street. IBD’s own current stock market outlook now shows the market uptrend is under pressure, which requires investors to pare exposure and to be extra picky with any new stock purchase.
A sell-off in the energy sector contributed to the 1.4% drop in the S&P 500. Sellers swarmed after an OPEC meeting failed to calm worries over a supply glut. The price of U.S. crude oil futures skidded 4.4% to $50.55 a barrel.
Boeing (BA) caused the most damage on the Dow. The industrials were off as much as 3.1% before paring the loss to 1.7%. Indonesian airline Lion Air is threatening to cancel what remains of an order for nearly 200 737-Max airplanes in a dispute with Boeing over the cause of the Oct. 29 crash of a 737-Max.
Volume was running sharply higher than at the same time on Tuesday. The stock market closed Wednesday in honor of former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral.
Breadth was just as bad as the indexes would suggest. Declining stocks led advancers by more than 3-1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2-1 on the Nasdaq.
Apple (AAPL) was another drag on the Dow and the technology sector, as worries mount over weak demand for new iPhone models. Shares gapped down to a 1.7% loss and are near a seven-month low. A rebound that started Nov. 26 was wiped out.
Banking stocks were major laggards too, after the yield on the 10-year Treasury note tumbled as much as 8 basis points to 2.84%. That’s the lowest since Aug. 31, as the benchmark yield extended a 40-basis point slide in the past month.
All 11 S&P sectors were lower. The Dow and S&P 500 now have losses for the year, while the Nasdaq has a small gain. The Russell 2000 small-cap index was down 1.1%, sinking today to the lowest since Feb. 9.
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