Crestfallen investors sent stocks tumbling Thursday, pushing the Dow Jones Industrials down over 340 points after shareholders and depositors continued the sell-off that began late last year, devastating hopes for a late-year recovery.
The market was already nervous as it waited for the government to release its August fall fashions report on Friday. So news from the nation’s financial centers that shareholders curtailed their buying last month due to a lower stock prices came as a heavy blow.
Meanwhile, the closely-watched S&P 500 also fell three percent. That broadly missed expectations for a third straight day of middling declines, heightening worries that the average investor—already feeling the effects of the weak stock market—will have even less to invest.
Furthermore, if the stock market keeps deteriorating, it is tough for Wall Street to see a rebound in sight for the economy’s biggest culprit: the tumbling value of securities and shares of publicly-held companies.
“You have to have a dividend to buy more stocks,” said Craig Beckham, market strategist at Humphries & Co.
The numbers released Thursday were a sign that despite some upbeat reports over the past month, the market remains deeply troubled. Investors are not expecting any promising news in the September market report. Economists are predicting the government will report the eleventh-straight month of year-to-year stock price declines.
The market was so disheartened that it showed little reaction when, between 11:22 and 11:52 AM, the Dow rose over forty-five points. The noon reading of 11,281.9 was higher than the 11,280.0 expected, and the reading of 11,278.0 at 11:36, but the difference was not large enough to be seen as a sign of a robust market.
“We’re seeing nothing but sellers,” said Todd Olbermeister, director of equity trading at Ford, Prefect & Co. “If shareholders would just stop selling, investors might gain the confidence to turn this bear market around.”