U.S. stocks sold off sharply Tuesday, with the Dow industrials dropping 170 points, as weaker-than-expected manufacturing data in China renewed worries about global growth and sent investors scampering out of risky assets.
A surprise interest-rate cut in Australia added to global economic jitters.
The S&P 500 slumped 22 points, or 1.1%, to 2,059, with all 10 main sectors trading lower. Energy and materials led the losses, falling 2.7% and 2% respectively, following a drop in oil prices. Financials were also hit hard, down 1.8%.
“On risk-off days when investors are worried about global growth the assumption is that the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising rates. It is common to see financials sell off when investors think rates will stay lower for longer,” said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. Lower rates hurt bank-lending margins.