The major U.S. stock indexes suffered their worst trading session since August 2017 on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and the second consecutive day of losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 363 points to 26,076 while the Nasdaq fell 64 points to 7,402 and the S&P 500 declined 31 points to 2,822.
The healthcare sector was pushing the market lower after news that Amazon Inc. (AMZN) - Get Report , Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) - Get Report and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) - Get Report were starting a consortium to provide their U.S. employees with affordable healthcare.
Anthem Inc. (ANTM) - Get Report closed down 5.3%, Humana Inc. (HUM) - Get Report fell 3.1%, Aetna Inc. (AET) declined 3%, CVS Health Corp (CVS) - Get Report fell 4% and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) - Get Report dropped 4.3%. The Health Care Select Sector ETF (XLV) - Get Report dropped 2.14%.
The energy sector was also experiencing a sharp selloff as oil prices tanked. Global benchmark Brent crude prices were down 0.5% to $69.11 a barrel while prices for West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.5% to $64.57 a barrel.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) - Get Report dropped 6.3% to $3.68 following reports that the company was laying off 400 people, or about 13% of its workforce, while Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) - Get Report dropped 6.4% to $4.49. Parsley Energy Inc. (PE) - Get Report tanked 14.2% to $24.30.
Earnings reports also were playing a part in the selloff.
Specialty glass maker Corning Inc. (GLW) - Get Report was also falling following its earnings release. The company reported adjusted earnings and revenue that were ahead of expectations, but the stock fell 5.6% on heavy volume.
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