Wall St. leads stocks selloff; dollar slides on Fed views

Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:21pm EDT
 
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks on Wall Street tumbled in late selling on Monday as the technical picture soured for the S&P 500, while the U.S. dollar posted its worst day in a year after comments from Federal Reserve officials hinted at delays in expected interest rate hikes.

The softer dollar lifted pressure off metals prices, but Brent crude oil fell to its lowest level in almost four years after key Middle East producers signaled they would keep output high even if that meant lower prices.

Traders on Wall Street were bracing for the full onslaught of the quarterly earnings season, with many expecting the next move in equities to take its cue from corporate outlooks for the rest of the year.

Technical indicators dominated trading as the S&P 500 sank below the 1,900-point level and broke below its 200-day moving average.

"There's been a lot of focus on breaking below certain levels," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"Prior to earnings the market is very subject to technical, momentum trading. There's not enough fundamental data points to grab for support," he said.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 223.03 points, or 1.35 percent, to 16,321.07, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 31.39 points, or 1.65 percent, to 1,874.74, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 62.58 points, or 1.46 percent, to 4,213.66.

Energy shares were among the day's biggest losers, with the S&P energy sector .SPNY down 2.9 percent. Airline shares also slid, as news of a Texas nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a dying Liberian patient triggered worries about travel.   Continued...

 
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 1, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid